Union Board, ZZZ team up to host ‘Noche del Oso’ event

Flyer courtesy of Connor Bryson.

By Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Editor

Union Board and Zeta Zigga Zamma (ZZZ) are gearing up to host their “Noche del Oso” event from 8 p.m. to midnight on March 25 at Fountain Mall as an alternative to Dia del Oso activites.

The jungle jam-themed event will include laser tag, an inflatable obstacle course, a live DJ and ZZZ’s signature punch. Tru Jamaica and Le’s Kitchen food trucks will also be up and running at the event.

Although entrance to the event is free, a portion of proceeds from T-shirt sales will go to Mission Waco, according to ZZZ member and Houston senior Micheal Tinker.

Union Board and ZZZ have both hosted their own individual “Noche” events separate from each other in the past. This year marks Union Board’s third “Noche,” started by Houston senior Antoinette Bernal-Tent, vice president of procurement for Union Board, and other members during their sophomore year.

The event started as a way to get students connected again as the COVID-19 pandemic shut campus down in 2020. Originally, it was a spin on a regular Sundown Session, but tailored to the Dia del Oso tradition.

“We didn’t really know what to do, but we knew we wanted to bring students together again and have that bigger event,” Bernal-Tent said.

ZZZ member and Trophy Club senior Connor Bryson said it’s been exciting to finally merge the two, and ZZZ is hoping to use the event to grow their name on campus, especially to capture the attention of freshmen.

“One thing we’re really excited about is to pull each of our audiences together on campus,” Bryson said. “This entire event is something that could be really big in the future if there’s enough turnout, and we want this to be a big deal.”

Despite a lack of charter from the university for ZZZ, the group still functions similarly to a fraternity, even having participated in All-University Sing in the past. This year, however, ZZZ is hosting their own version — “Zing.”

“It’s like a variety show, but we also have dancing involved in the acts,” Bryson said.

ZZZ’s “Noche” has been around since the early 2010s, according to Tinker. Despite a lack of charter from the university for ZZZ, the group still functions similarly to a fraternity, but aims to create a safer environment for college kids to have fun, Tinker said.

“[‘Noche’ has] traditionally just been an alternative to a lot of the substance parties that are out there,” Tinker said. “We want always to provide a safe space for college students to come party and just have a great time and know that they are in a safe environment. That has been one of our primary missions for a long time.”

Bernal-Tent said she’s also excited to see the direction in which “Noche del Oso” has been heading, and hopes the event will grow to be even bigger with each passing year.

“As it’s gone on, it’s become bigger and the students have been able to lead it themselves,” Bernal-Tent said. “It’s truly amazing to see how far I’ve come in my time at Baylor and that I can actually put together this event with all the people that I’ve need and all the resources available … I’m most proud of seeing it change every year and get bigger and better.”