Trick-or-Treating and college kids sound like a plot to a terrible horror film. Yet St. Ambrose University has been able to make the two match without the predictably bloody ending.
Halloween in the halls is when kids come to campus and trick-or-treat in the residence halls. Student volunteers sign up to pass out candy and hang a special sign from their door to let the kids know to stop by.
These aren’t just any kids though. They are the children of SAU faculty and staff members. The tradition started all the way back in 1999 when Director of Residence Life Matt Hansen joined Ambrose.
“My kids have always looked forward to this event each year,” Hansen said. “It is simply wonderful to have both of my worlds (work and home) come together on this great event. My kids love it and often brought a friend.”
Recently the faculty families have been joined by a few new faces. Dance Marathon, a program designed to help raise money for families in need as well as help them with daily life, has been invited for the holiday fun. This opportunity gives families who need help the chance to bring their kids to campus for a safe and positive interaction with students, the candy doesn’t hurt either.
“I really enjoy seeing the kid’s faces and costumes,” sophomore Olivia Bratt said. “It’s cool seeing the parents with their kids because they spend so much time planning lessons, grading papers and helping us, that it’s nice to see them spend time with their family.”
Students are required to register ahead of time and buy their own candy to pass out. This hasn’t deterred many students, especially a few of the girls who lived in North Hall last year. They not only got candy, but they decorated their whole hallway and even got costumes to help get the kids in the spirit. Last year about 400 students’ participated and about 400 kids came to campus.
“I was a witch last year, but I’m not quite sure on what I’m going to be dressed as this year,” Bratt explained.
The festivities don’t just end in the hallways, though, as every building has a little surprise of its own waiting in the basement. Last year, Davis had a haunted basement and Cosgrove had an array of games for kids to play. Parents of the kids also have a chance to get involved in the fun and spirit of giving as well. Every year there is an APG photo booth where kids can get their photos taken, and the only payment necessary is a canned good. This helps St. Ambrose not only give back to the families with photos and memories but also to the community food pantries.
This year festivities will take place on October 27 in a residence hall near you.