Resplendent in spooky decorations with trunks full to the brim with treats, a dozen cars rolled into the College Hall parking lot on Halloween for New College’s annual trunk or treat event. As students voted for their favorite costumes and handed out candy from decorated trunks, the freshly formed New College Roller Skating Club cruised around in costumes and quad skates. Swim team, Anarchy Deathsticks and the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) co-Vice Presidents of Diversity and Inclusion, Chloe Fodor and Rocío Ramirez-Castro, were among the student organizations in attendance.
Third-year Talia Neally, a student worker for the Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SAuCE) office, organized the event. With this year’s annual Halloween events cancelled due to COVID-19, the SAuCE office and the NCSA put extra effort into making sure that students could celebrate the holiday and create community in a safe environment.
“With COVID regulations keeping everyone isolated, I wanted to do an event that could get people out of their rooms and be a part of the New College community while also keeping in mind the safety of students,” Neally said. “I definitely think that the campus needs more in person events that are simply about having fun as a community, specifically for new students who have not had access to usual New College traditions like walls that encourage having fun and making friends.”
The event also happened last year, but COVID-19 inspired some necessary changes, such as masks, hand sanitizer at every station and less than 10 trunk or treaters at each trunk—a requirement that was easily met. About 15 people were at the event at any given time. Trunk and table hosts also engaged in “reverse trick-or-treating” by handing out candy in small cups to masked passersby rather than encouraging students to take their own handfuls.
Attendees expressed their appreciation and excitement for a safe, but fun Halloween weekend alternative to COUP/PCP or other parties. Ramirez-Castro, who is also a part of the Roller Skating Club, was one of them.
“I really wanted to do something for Halloween and I knew that we weren’t having PCP [Palm Court Party] this year, but I still wanted to see everyone in their costumes and this seemed like a really cute, safe idea, so I was like, ‘Sign me up, I’ll be there,’” Ramirez-Castro said with a smile.
First-year students Lola Swanson and Violet Aune, who hosted a car decked out in spider webs, were also grateful for a chance to hang out with peers safely. They said they got invitations to parties, but were not going to attend any because of the pandemic.
“We were thinking, like, ‘What are we going to do?’ and then I saw this event advertised and it looked fun so I was like, ‘I’ll sign us up!’” Aune said happily.
“I’m glad we did this, and I really hope that it brings some darkness to people’s day,” Swanson added.
Roller skating club founder Amaya Roberts, who is also a first year, echoed her peers’ sentiments and said she was happy that she and her fellow club members could have their first meeting at the trunk or treat.
“In my own personal experience, it’s been a bit hard to connect with the community because of COVID, and it was good to be able to get out and safely celebrate the holiday with people on campus,” Roberts said. “I had a blast with the [roller skating] club members who were there!” The event was rained out about an hour before it was supposed to end, but not before Neally announced the winners of the costume and trunk decorating contests. Swim team, co-captained by Jess Franks and Daria Paulis, won the trunk decorating contest, and second year Carina Setterberg won the costume contest dressed as Wirt from the Cartoon Network series Over the Garden Wall.