In the Age of COVID, COUP-Vid Tries to Compensate

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COUPs, formerly known as Palm Court Parties (PCP), were a time when students gathered to dance, enjoy live bands and stay up partying until the wee hours of the morning. A massive party is not a safe option currently, so the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) was left to come up with an alternative. In hopes of keeping the COUP tradition alive, the NCSA invented COUP-vid, with reverse trick or treating, online games and an in-person photo booth. 

Vice President of Student Affairs Saloanee Labh and NCSA President Sofia Lombardi were in charge of planning this school-wide event. Throughout the night, both Labh and Lombardi cruised around campus on a golf cart, passed out goodie bags and operated the photo booth. 

Saloanee Labh, posing as Paris Hilton for COUP-vid.

“It was tiring, in heels too! Girl, I was dying,” Labh said.

The goodie bags consisted of a Halloween-themed bag, ghost cup, a lollipop, a cookie, a full-sized candy bar and a variety of fun-sized candy. Labh was in charge of choosing what items to include in the goodie bags, while Lombardi took on the task of assembling them. 

“For each selection I had to take into consideration what I might like receiving and what other people might like,” Labh said. “I also had to call into a few different bakeries to ask if they were willing to individually wrap cookies. I went around with Sofia for some time dropping off goodie bags in the reverse trick or treat, and it was to see peoples reactions.”

At the event, Labh operated the projector backdrop and took pictures of students. Labh’s original idea was to have three separate Halloween-themed backdrops that people could take photos with, however the backdrops failed to arrive on time. 

“Last minute, we had to come up with a back up plan,” Labh said. “We came up with three back up plans, none of them worked out, so then we just decided to use the projector background set, and it turned out fine. People were excited about it,” Labh said.

Interactions between students were largely online, through Zoom games led by thesis student Courtney Miller and third year Veronica Lee. The first game of the night kicked off with a game of werewolves, hosted by Miller. Afterwards, Lee hosted a round of the trendy game Among Us, which lasted until 11 p.m. Around eight people were in attendance for both the game of werewolves and Among Us.

“There were some tense and exciting games—though of course my favorite is the one where I won as impostor!” Lee said. “Since there were only around six people playing at a time, it was a really intimate game experience. I felt like I was able to connect with everyone there really nicely.”

From 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., the movie Addams Family was available through Zoom, though no one attended. Regardless, the feedback from the reverse trick or treating and photobooth was very well received. Lombardi and Labh’s dynamic duo created an entertaining night for New College students and several ‘thank you’ emails followed.

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