Students, faculty participate in campus activities

Bobby Shipman

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USI’s campus crawled with activities this week as Halloween approached.

The Student Housing Association (SHA) hosted a cookout and pumpkin painting event Monday.

Faculty and staff made their way into the dorms with their kids Tuesday evening for Boo Bash, an annual event in Newman and Governor Halls.

The resident assistants guided families through the halls where residents passed out candy and hosted games like pin the tail on the cat and pumpkin coloring.

Originally called “Safe Trick-or-Treat,” Boo Bash began in 2003.

Residence hall students wanted to sponsor trick-or-treating for employees and local neighbors, said Michael Stokes, area coordinator.

He said the program began in Ruston and O’Bannon but was moved to Newman and Governors sometime later.

Stokes said residents get the opportunity to see faculty and staff on a different level.

“They are seeing them outside of their office, outside of their classroom, in a different kind of role,” he said.

Students were invited to the SHA Light up the Night in Eicher barn Tuesday, where they ate s’mores and listened to local acoustic musicians around a campfire.

Also on Tuesday night, students got the chance to dance and participate in a costume contest in Carter Hall.

They posed for pictures in a photo booth and made wax-molds of their hands, said Kendra King, homecoming and special events chair.

Pumpkins, which were decorated by students on UC East’s patio, were used as accents at the dance.

Students who prefer to celebrate Halloween on Halloween have a few options tonight.

The Activities Programming Board will show “The Purge” at 9 p.m. in Forum 1.

“Students can wear costumes (to the movie) and there will also be a contest there, too,” King said.

SHA will announce the winners of a Halloween decorating contest in the student apartments and residence halls tomorrow.

“I encourage students to get involved in whatever way they want, but just to be responsible with the decision that they make whether it be on campus or off campus,” said Karen Huseman, assistant director of programing in student housing.

Huseman hopes the contest will promote creativity among campus residents, she said.

Dean of Students Angela Batista said our programs don’t hold as much tradition as schools with more history.

“I think, in general, because we are so young, our programs have room to become traditions,” she said.

Several universities developed unique Halloween traditions.

Students at Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) drop pumpkins from the tallest buildings on campus as part of an annual Pumpkin Drop.

Participants design canoes and race them in costume during the University of Connecticut’s Night of the Living Dead Canoe Race.

Other college traditions include a haunted Halloween trail (Texas A&M) and a Halloween concert (Carleton College).

“If you live in a very diverse, big city, there are more opportunities because there is a lot more diversity in the way people celebrate,” Batista said.

Public Safety Staff Sergeant Brian McWilliams said no additional security measures will be implemented on Halloween.

He said the off-duty Vanderburgh County sheriff’s deputy will patrol campus and housing Thursday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. as usual.

Security will keep an eye out for anyone who might be displaying suspicious behavior and, given unusual circumstances, may increase security activity, he said.

Although no Halloween-specific policies exist, USI does ban masks and fake weapons on campus.

“Given the current climate on college campuses, people tend to get nervous when they see a person in a mask, especially if they have a toy gun or something like that,” McWilliams said.

Off campus, the USI Democrats showed Halloween spirit Friday by volunteering to work Boo at the Zoo, an event hosted by Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden.

Families can trick-or-treat at different stations throughout the zoo, as well as participate in Halloween-themed activities.

USI Democrats Vice President Sam Brinson said zoo workers assigned them to the “Tent of Terror,” a miniature haunted house.

“We each took our place in the ‘Tent of Terror’ and pretty much jumped out and scared kids,” Brinson said.

They showed up dressed in regular attire, but the zoo staff provided them with costumes, make-up and fake blood, he said.

The group worked the haunted house from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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