Springfield College hosts an alternative to Trick-or-treating, Treat Fest

Joe Arruda

Residence halls were invaded by a slew of clowns, angels, and princesses, among several other characters. “Trick-or-treat!” echoed through the halls, as children in spooky costumes made their rounds in search for candy.

The Center for Service and Leadership hosted “Treat Fest” on Tuesday, where children from the community were invited to a night full of fun, games, and candy at Springfield College.

Jack-o-lantern balloons marked the entrance of Judd Gymnasia, where families were greeted with Halloween festivities. Student clubs and organizations set up games and activities with the opportunity for children to win prizes.

A smile stretched across the face of a young girl dressed as a scarecrow, as she claimed her strawberry flavored Laffy Taffy, after winning a game of Plinko.

Charlene Elvers, the Director of the Center for Service and Leadership, explained, “The purpose of this event is that it’s another way to bring the College and the community together, to have college students interact with families.”

Though this event is a great opportunity for children to add to their stash of candy, it is also fun for the Springfield students who are involved. They dressed up and decorated their rooms, in preparation to host the young trick-or-treaters.

With the amount of danger in the world, safety has become an increasing concern for parents, when sending their kids to knock on strangers’ doors. Though, many feel that trick-or-treating is a tradition that should not dissipate due to the dangers that could potentially come with it.

“I decided to help with trick-or-treating in the halls, so that kids wouldn’t have to go out on the streets where it may not be safe,” said freshman Kelsey Prince. “Kids should be able to enjoy the spirit of Halloween and trick-or-treating.”

Elvers emphasized the unique opportunity that this event provides for young children to interact with Springfield College students. “Even though we do programs on campus for [the] youth, we don’t often go inside the residence halls. [The children] don’t really get to see where college students live,” she said.

Any exposure to a college campus can be important to children. Whether it’s through an event like Treat Fest, or an after school program, these experiences often play a positive role in their futures.

The hope is that after seeing the campus, walking through the dorms, and bonding with Springfield students, the children are motivated to do well in school, so that one day, they will have their own college experiences.

Student Evelyn Aguilar Duarte reminisced on her trick-or-treating days. “I wanted to see the kids’ costumes, so I could feel like one again,” she said with her face decorated half flesh, half skeleton.

“There’s a lot of organizations that do Halloween events, or things like that,” Elvers added. “But what’s great about having this on a college campus is that because we have residence halls, there’s the opportunity for families to actually go door-to-door trick-or-treating, which I think doesn’t happen a lot in neighborhoods anymore.”

Photo courtesy of Springfield Marking & Communications

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