The last Friday of October brought another excursion for the Social Science Club of the Los Banos Campus of Merced College: a trip to Merced for dinner and a show.

The first stop was Sam’s Cafe in Merced, just a few blocks down from the fairgrounds.

Most of the attendees ordered Pad Thai, a noodle dish served with meat, vegetables and a peanut garnish– with a spiciness level suited to your preference.

“I like to order Pad Thai and Thai tea,” said club member Malina Duran, who also enjoyed catching up with the faculty at the Los Banos Campus, such as Randeep Singh, Karen Deeming, Danny Ruiz and Scott Coahran, over the meal.

“I enjoy socializing with the students outside of the classroom, where everyone can relax and not feel any pressure,” said Professor Scott Coahran of the club outing.

After the Thai dinner, the club headed down the road from Sam’s to Merced College to partake in “The Last Masquerade,” a haunted house put on by Merced College’s theater department.

“I didn’t know what to expect, so I was more scared than I thought,” said Duran, “I screamed a couple of times at the jump scares. It was overall a great event that the college put together, and the actors were amazing.”

The haunted house was complete with elaborate, claustrophobic sets, great visual effects and an ensemble of a kooky cast of characters. The show also had interactive portions incorporated into it, such as levers to pull and buttons to push.

“I have enjoyed haunted houses and horror movies since I was a grade school kid,” said Coahran, who also teased upcoming club events.

The club’s next ethnic food night will be either Mongolian or Korean food, pending a club vote. A visit to the Hindu Temple and San Juan Bautista is also in the works, with a date for the excursion still pending.

Jonathan Simione