This past weekend, University students proved that dressing up in a costume and trick-or-treating can still be a great time no matter how old someone is. On Saturday, Oct. 30, Community First hosted a Halloween event, known locally as Tent-or-Treat. Students, faculty and children from surrounding communities came to collect and eat various candies from more than 45 tents set up by different clubs, Greek houses and University organizations.
Before the function started at 5 p.m., the different student groups were assigned a tent and told to decorate it in as spooky a fashion as they could, and none of the tents disappointed. Once they were finished decorating, each group was reimbursed up to $100 for everything they used. At the end of the event, the most festive tent won a prize awarded by judges from the Office of Student Life. In addition to the tents, there was also a zombie maze and an escape room to entertain those who had completed their quest for candy.
Margot Varrichio, a tutor in the Falvey Library Writing Center, expressed how excited she was for people to start coming to the tent she helped set up.
“I am at the Writing Center table, and the whole point is to really bring a lot of fun to campus,” Varrichio said. “It is great to see all the neighborhood kids all dressed up. And, what makes our tent different is that we offer word searches and pens because we are the Writing Center. It’s on-brand.”
Other tents were also giving away trinkets and treats that conformed to their organization’s image and identity.
As the evening turned to an eerie Halloween night, the monsters, superheroes and animals began to arrive. Everyone began scavenging for all the candy they could get their hands and paws on, even University professors.
“I love seeing them outside of the classroom in a non-academic setting, all dressed up in their costumes,” said Matt Sinnott, president of the Sigma Chi fraternity who had a tent of its own.
Among the faculty were students and children who came to get a head start on their trick-or-treating. Donte Williams, a graduate from the class of 2009 and an employee in the University’s dining services, brought his young son who decided to dress up as Venom, a character from the Marvel Spiderman comics.
“This may be the main thing that he does, and we’ll basically stay in tomorrow and maybe watch movies all day and have, like, a chill day tomorrow,” Williams said regarding what he and his son will do on Halloween day. “But, if we do decide to do something, it will probably be something small, but this is the big thing for him this year.”
Williams and his son were just two trick-or-treaters among the 200 plus that attended. Other children and students filtered through during the event dressed up as their favorite animals, princesses, movie characters and more.
Tent-or-treat started during Halloween time on campus last year because of the pandemic. Its purpose was to make sure students could still safely celebrate the holiday in an outdoor setting. It was a hit to everyone’s surprise and prompted Community First and the University to bring it back again this year. They plan to make it an annual event, in addition to the other Halloween festivities held by the Campus Activities Team and other university organizations.