Children from all around Reno made their way to campus at the University of Nevada, Reno on Thursday, Oct. 25, for some safe Halloween activities.
Walking through campus on a crisp autumn evening, the leaves fluttered in the air and one could see young ghouls, ghosts and goblins congregating at Canada Hall.
The courtyard between Nye Hall and Canada Hall was crawling with all sorts of dressed up trick-or-treaters for the annual Safe Trick-or-Treating event put on by the Residence Housing Association at UNR.
Kids from elementary school to middle school were all welcome to participate in Halloween festivities in a safe environment, which included games in the courtyard, a cake walk and even trick-or-treating through Canada Hall, making sure they didn’t miss a single door.
This event is one of the most important to the RHA and has been going on for over twenty years. The success of this event heavily relies on student and faculty involvement. Year after year they genuinely want to see the kids have a fun Halloween celebration that could not be possible for many of them.
RHA member Brandon Garcia said that this is the one event that all the residence halls are needed to collaborate on, and it is the main event they put on specifically for the youth. The students and faculty are determined to make this night one to remember for the kids.
The community outreach aspect of events is important for all universities, UNR in particular. UNR is a centerpiece for Reno, and can set an example for other institutions in the area. The university supports the city in many different aspects, and events like Safe Trick-or-Treat can create a sense of stability in the community.
Maria Garcia was one of the parents who attended Safe Trick-or-Treating so many times, she couldn’t remember what year of attendance this was for her.
“We’ve gone almost every year. The kids are just so excited to come to the event and have fun with nice people… It’s nice to know that we have this option for our kids to have fun and forget about whatever is going on in life,” said Mrs. Garcia.
The college students understand how important this can be for kids who might not be able to experience Halloween in their own neighborhood. This type of event can help kids out of their shell and even shed some light on university life.
“The kids can see that college isn’t a scary place, and they can come on campus and not be spooked and not be afraid of the older kids,” said Garcia.
College can be an intimidating place, and this involvement can erase some of the stereotypes of college students. Elementary and middle school kids can experience a college campus for the first time and be relaxed and understand that Halloween is the spookiest thing about it.
The positive attitude was infectious, as smiles peeked out from under the masks and costume makeup. For Dalton Kilburg, an RHA member and third year Safe Trick-or-Treat volunteer, the kids’ happiness is what made it all worth it.
“It’s a new experience for them. It’s definitely worth it seeing the kids’ faces,” said Kilburg.
Brandon Garcia also added on, “With kids they’re very expressive. You can just see it in their face that they’re having a blast.”
As the night transpired the kids started to get more and more comfortable. There wasn’t a single vampire or witch left out from the fun. There just must be something about free candy that everyone can understand.