Campus Wide Trick-or-Treating and Halloween-Themed Movie Night
Northern State University as a whole does a great job of integrating itself into the community of Aberdeen, and Residence Life is no exception. Many years ago, the late Director of Residence Life, Bob Courtney, decided that Halloween was a great opportunity to reach out to the children of the community by providing a safe, family-friendly way for them to interact with NSU students and see how college students live in Aberdeen. Therefore, he started the tradition of residence hall trick-or-treating on Halloween. This year, the tradition will continue in all of the residence halls. In the early 2000s, each room of all the residence halls was invited to join in on the trick-or-treating fun. Rooms that desired to participate would simply decorate their doors or prop their doors open to welcome trick-or-treaters. However, the little trick-or-treaters seemed to grow tired of walking through every single floor of every single residence hall, so in 2009, the tradition was modified to accommodate the little ones’ tiring out too soon. Now, each residence hall opens its lobby to local trick-or-treaters on October 31, and each hall invites its residents to congregate in the lobby in costume in order to welcome the children and pass out candy.
In 2013, the tradition took another twist. Seth Honerman, former Hall Director of McArthur-Welsh Hall, initiated the Jerde Haunted House, which added another fun experience for the trick-or-treaters. For two years the Jerde Hall staff created a family-friendly haunted house, which was a huge hit. Unfortunately, 2015 was the final year of the Jerde Haunted House. Residence Life Area Coordinator Nathan Kozach explained that this year the resident advisors (RAs) are so busy with other campus activities (most notably, the campus-wide sock-throwing competition Assoxination) that they simply do not have the time to invest in the amount of work which the Jerde Haunted House requires. Instead, this year, Residence Life is sponsoring a Halloween Movie Night. “A lot of different things need our attention,” said Kozach, “and we want to make sure that everything goes well for the benefit of the student body. The movie night ensures that we can focus our efforts on all of our programs, not just one.” That being said, the Halloween movie night will take place on October 30 at either 6:00pm or 6:30pm in the Dacotah Hall Auditorium. This night and time in particular were chosen so that those who desire to go home for the weekend still can attend, while those who want to be in bed at a reasonable hour on a school night are not dissuaded from attending the brand new event either. The RAs have unanimously chosen Hocus Pocus, the classic Walt Disney children’s film, as the movie to watch. The night will include refreshments and just maybe another surprise activity for guests. However, Kozach would not admit to what this activity is, saying, “I’d tell you, but what’s Halloween without a little bit of mystery?” Residence Life certainly is finding a way to add a new flavor of fun to Halloween on Northern State University’s campus while engaging the community in campus events.