Members of the surrounding community were invited to join the University of Indianapolis for its annual trick-or-treating event, Halloween in the Halls. The event was hosted by the UIndy on Oct. 27, 2017 in collaboration with the university’s Residence Hall Association. The annual event was organized in order for university faculty members’ families, as well as members of the surrounding community, to have a safe place to go trick-or-treating. A haunted house in the Stierwalt Alumni House and a haunted science lab presented by UIndy’s Community for the Advancement of Learning and Understanding Biology were also available activities.
Trick-or-treating took place in each of the residence halls and resident assistants facilitated the activities. According to East Hall RA and Resident Hall Association co-president, Brittany Lake, RAs had many responsibilities in making sure the event was successful in their building.
“As the RAs, we decorated before the event, and we’re in charge of running the whole thing throughout the building,” Lake said. “We each have certain roles. One person runs the game, one of us passes out candy and the rest are greeters. We delegated who wanted to do what job, and really tried to focus on making each guest feel welcome.”
Halloween in the Halls is also something that students at UIndy view as a tradition that some have come to look forward to every year.
Junior creative writing major Sarah Hoffmeier has attended this event for three years and considers it a “highlight” of the year.
“We get to see all the kids and it’s kind of like a holiday tradition. We get to meet them one-on one and it’s a fun event honestly…” Hoffmeier said. “I love Halloween, I get dressed up, have fun and be creative with my outfit and meet the kids.”
According to junior psychology major and RA Corey Nack, Halloween in the Halls is also a time for students to take a break from busy schedules and have fun while reaching out to the community.
“It gives the students a connection outside of this physical space. We don’t get the chance to branch out a lot, so this a chance to serve the greater community that we are a part of,” Nack said. “Also, this something I definitely look forward to as an RA to get to do something different than usual and push my creativity,”
Lake said she thinks that this event does positive things for people affiliated with campus and visitors.
“ I think it’s a really good idea, especially for the staff’s families and the surrounding community just for them to be able to come to campus have a safe time trick-or- treating and having fun,” Lake said. “It’s nice for the staff in a way because sometimes they may not get out of their buildings that they teach in, so they can just walk around campus with their families. It is also really important so everyone can have a safe time.”
Local parent Kari McGrath said that much of her enjoyment of this event stems from knowing that this is a trick-or treating environment where her children are safe and the area is kid-friendly.
“It’s a lot safer than going from house to house. I’m less concerned about who’s here compared to neighborhoods; you never know what neighbors are like,” McGrath said. “I know where the candy comes from. There’s not anything here I’m worried about kids getting hurt on. No worrying about getting hit by cars or the kind of strangers I wouldn’t trust. It’s a lot off my shoulder’s coming to events like this.”
McGrath said she also believes that bringing her children to an event on a college campus encourages them to think about their futures from a young age.
“I think having kids out in the community, especially taking them to college campuses to introduce them to this culture and all the diversity is important. The students are driven and having fun with the kids,” McGrath said. “It’s beneficial because bringing kids to these places kind of encourages them to go further in their education later on.”
Hoffmeier said she also feels that events like these are encouraging children in the community to be introduced to the college community.
“I think it encourages them because they are seeing us and how we’re interacting and associating it with something they are familiar with,” Hoffmeier said. “[The children] know that we are regular people, seeing the dorms and thinking ‘oh I kind of like this place.’”