423 Night Market: A preview to the annual event and new changes

423 Night. Photo ny Estefania Sanchez.Laiza Silva

On Saturday, Oct. 17, Student Association (SA) will host the third annual 423 Night Market to showcase students’ entrepreneurial endeavors.

A total of 75 to 80 vendors are expected to participate this year, including many who will be selling thrift clothes, books, art, crafts, food and miscellaneous items.

SA President Sheryl Kambuni said this year’s venue change is due to financial considerations as well as COVID-19 concerns. 

“We have a partnership with [The Commons], [so] maybe in future years we can do that again,” Kambuni said. “But it saves us a bit of money to have it on campus and not have to pay for a venue. It helps out so we can give more money to student vendors.”  

423 Night Market will be held at Taylor Circle on the student parking lots between Talge and Thatcher dorms, and the guest lots in front of Wright Hall. Campus Safety plans to send out an announcement about students having to move their vehicles. Additionally, instead of starting at 8 p.m, as was originally advertised on  SA’s Instagram page, the market will be held from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. 

Another change this year will be the absence of community residents. Kambuni said only students, faculty and staff are allowed to have booths or be present throughout the night. It’s an adjustment that may affect on-campus vendors, such as returning senior clinical psychology major Chloe Bastajian, who is hoping to sell out her sugar scrubs despite the restrictions.

“Community [members] can’t come, so that might be a factor in the turnout,” Bastajian said. “But I’m hoping that because it’s on campus, it might be more accessible.”

 The event is known for freshly-made food and beverages, which will not be sold this year because of COVID-19.

“You can [sell] food, but it has to be individually packaged [or in] sealed containter[s], with clear indication saying,  ‘Do not eat me at the market; eat me later,’” Kambuni said. “The risk comes when someone takes off their mask to eat. So, they’re trying to have the vendors and market attendees have their masks on the entire time.”

423 Night Market began during the 2018-2019 school year, under the leadership of former SA President Rhidge Garcia. Kambuni said every SA president develops his or her own projects, and some become more successful than others, depending on student body needs and time constraints. 

If the project has served its purpose well, then it may be time to move on,  she explained. In the case of 423 Night Market, she chose to continue despite COVID-19 restrictions.

“423 night has been a way to empower the student body,” Kambuni said. “You’re giving back to your community [and] encouraging students to be entrepreneurs—to share their God-given talents with other people on campus.”

One student who was inspired to share her talent this year, after being an attendee the past two years, is junior graphic design major Molly Untalan.

She and her friend Berly Hernandez, a fellow junior graphic design student, will be selling tote bags, art prints and customized Spotify albums.

“I’ve always wanted to do it, [but] never had the motivation to spend the extra time I had to create designs and print [them],” Untalan said. “I’ve always loved supporting other creatives and buying their products. I thought I might as well do it too!” 

Noa Soisoi, a returning vendor and senior psychology major, considers 423 Night Market an opportunity to not only give but benefit financially. She usually paints content that reflects her Samoan culture. This year, her theme consists of the ocean with small messages of encouragement.

“I don’t like asking my parents for money and [thought] that this was a great opportunity to not only showcase the thing that I love to do and share my culture, but also still receive [added income],” Soisoi said.

Kambuni said attendees can expect live music performed by students throughout the night. All COVID-19 regulations will be enforced, she emphasized, including the daily survey, mandatory masks, wristbands and social distancing. Mobile cash apps, such as Venmo, Cashapp and Zelle are encouraged, but vendors are not limited to cash, Kambuni said. She also said the weather is expected to be cold and recommended that everyone dress in warm clothing.

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