By Gianluca D’Elia
Regardless of whether college students think they are too old for Halloween traditions, last Thursday’s Halloween Monster Mash gave Rider students a chance to relive the childhood joy that Halloween brings.
According to community service coordinator Jane Sanchez, about 160 youth from local school programs came to celebrate Halloween at Rider on Oct. 30. Over 25 offices at Rider opened their doors for trick-or-treaters throughout the day, including the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office, the Dean of Students’ Office and Campus Life.
Sanchez said that the goal of the Monster Mash was to provide a safe and exciting Halloween celebration for kids that may not live in the safest areas to go trick-or-treating in.
The event began in the morning when the Cherry Tree Club Pre-School visited Rider in costumes to trick-or-treat in the administrative offices of the Moore Library and the Bart Leudeke Center (BLC). Cherry Tree Club is a Princeton Junction-based preschool that serves homeless and at-risk youth in the Mercer County area.
The Halloween Monster Mash continued in the afternoon when three Trenton-based after-school programs – El Centro, Boys and Girls Club of Mott School, and the Boys and Girls Club at Robbins School – went trick-or-treating around campus and came back to the Cavalla Room for games, pizza, and a dance party. The afternoon of Halloween fun was coordinated by several student organizations, including Greek Life, Alpha Phi Omega, and the Emerging Leaders Program. In addition to the games and activities these groups hosted, the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority opened their haunted house to the children.
The total of volunteers that helped with the Monster Mash was almost equal to the amount of children, and they found the experience to be just as rewarding. Freshman criminal justice major Destiny Cherry, who volunteered at the event as a member of Emerging Leaders, shared her artistic talent by painting faces.
“Face painting was such a great time,” said Cherry. “The best part was seeing the kids’ faces when I was finally done painting.”
Because of Rider’s Halloween Monster Mash, local school children had a safe environment to celebrate Halloween in. Sanchez said she was thankful for all of the love that the Rider community shared in order to make the Monster Mash successful.