Another October has come and gone, leaving the WCU students to sulk in their post-Halloween blues. From the festive decorating to pumpkin carving and events of all sorts, it’s undeniable that the West Chester community completely embraced the spirit. Being a first-year student, it was exciting to see our university coming together to celebrate such a treasured holiday. So, what were the highlights, lowlights and in-betweens of the spooky season here at WCU? Here is the “Halloween rundown” as reviewed by a new student.
The moment September ended, it seemed like everyone was decorating for Halloween. For me, who was new to dorm life, this was amazing to see. Students all throughout my building were donning their doors with spooky decorations of all sorts. Some people even swapped out their door tags for more festive substitutes. My roommates and I contributed by covering our door and entire suite with cute decorations! Some girls on my floor went the extra mile and kept a plastic cauldron on their door handle filled with candy. I wasn’t expecting everyone to be so enthusiastic about Halloween, but it completely lifted the mood of the dorm.
As we got further into October and Halloween grew closer, many event opportunities popped up. The university held a large amount of Halloween attractions, which I really appreciated. There have been times where I felt there wasn’t enough for students on campus. That improved with the Halloween season. SGA held a pumpkin carving contest for charity and presented several Halloween films such as “Hocus Pocus.” My personal favorite spooky events were the haunted houses held by University Theatre and Commonwealth Hall. University Theatre offered a remarkably put-together haunted house involving many different room themes. The event is annual and done in order to raise money for their club. I would recommend it! Commonwealth Hall’s haunted house, though short, was also a great attraction. Overall, I really appreciated all the activities the University offered.
My professors also seemed to be very into the Halloween spirit. Many handed out candy or incorporated spooky themes into their lessons. In my American Sign Language course, we spent some of the class learning Halloween vocab. My civic engagement lecture encouraged students to come to class in costume for extra credit. Having not only the students but also the faculty embrace Halloween, heightened the atmosphere.
Of course, there is no Halloween without costumes. A lot more people dressed up for Halloween than I would have expected, some even having multiple outfits. The most popular costumes this year seemed to be a cat, unicorn, angel, devil, scarecrow or bunny. Numerous students also seemed to have coordinating costumes like salt and pepper or Lilo and Stitch. I give big props to all the DIY costumes and intricate makeup I saw this year; it was pretty impressive! I assumed that after getting to college, people wouldn’t dress up anymore, but I was glad to see otherwise.
There were many events occurring in the surrounding community to celebrate Halloween. Students visited pumpkin patches and other small farms or festivals. I personally attended Hurricane Hill which offered corn mazes, pumpkin picking and pig races. It was unquestionably the best community event around. For those that didn’t have transportation to get to these community events, many dorm communities offered weekend trips. I would fully advocate that in the following years, students try and make it out to the Halloween festivities in and around West Chester.
I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Halloween here at WCU. Since arriving on campus in August, I wanted to discover a bit more of the community and Halloween presented this opportunity. Seeing festivity between dorms, classes, students and faculty brought everything full circle. The sense of togetherness and fun that Halloween brought really improved life here at WCU. I would encourage the university to carry this enthusiasm into every season, spooky or not.
Samantha Batty is a first-year student English writings major. SB908125@wcupa.edu