Halloween time brings happiness to Hurst

Marina Boyle, Features editor

Aside from the stressful periods of registration and scheduling for classes, late October is also a time of festivity at Mercyhurst for the celebration of Halloween.

Various departments are organizing activities for students on Oct. 31, particularly as Halloween falls on a weekday this year.

Halloween Dinner was held at the Grotto Commons on Oct. 30 with special foods and desserts to celebrate the day, as well as staff costumes and prizes.

Dean Schoenfeldt, senior general manager of Parkhurst, is excited for the new opportunities and themes that the Mercyhurst Dining Services have planned for this year.

“We are hoping everyone will join us for our Halloween themed foods, spooky dessert bar and creative costumes at our food facilities,” Schoenfeldt said.

In particular, he is excited for the new ways of celebrating that will come with the second dining space on campus, the 501 Grille in Ryan Hall. “On Halloween, we will have our annual Halloween lunch at Ryan Hall. We have some really different themes this year and look forward to having the students check it out.”

On top of this, the Erie Staff Senate is sponsoring a trick-or-treat event for students on Oct. 31, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. across the campus.

Last year, 37 departments signed up to distribute treats, and all departments were invited to join this year’s list of stops. Current departments being represented include Academic Support, AIM, the Anthropology/Archaeology Department, the Bookstore, Campus Ministry, the Education Department, Enrollment Management, Graduate & Continuing Education, the Honors Program, Human Resources, IT, the Hammermill Library, Marketing & PR, Police and Safety, the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office, the Registrar’s Office, Residence Life, Service Learning and many, many more.

Michael Grasso, assistant director of Residence Life & Student Conduct, said he is excited to be giving out candy throughout the day.

“Staff Senate strives to bring employees of the university together. What better to way to make employees feel connected to one another than by joining forces to do something fun for our students?” Grasso said. “Trick-or-treating gives students the chance to reconnect with their childhood while at the same time giving them the opportunity to get to know where our offices are. That way, if they ever need any help or have questions, they’ll know where to find us. Plus, they get candy so it’s win-win as far as we’re concerned.”

Participating departments will have posters hanging at their doors to indicate that they are a Treat Stop. While the event will run until 3 p.m., the first 150 participants can pick up a candy bag from the Campus Involvement Center inside the Student Union to carry their treats.

“This is one of my favorite Halloween traditions,” said sophomore Intelligence Studies major Michelle Benedetti. “It’s so nice to see how much staff and faculty want to get involved and give us a wonderful Halloween day even when we have regular duties and classes.”

Staff Senate Chair Travis Lindahl, director of Graduate and Continuing Education, is excited to be taking part and to be sponsoring this event.

“Mercyhurst’s Staff Senate is continuously trying to find ways to help build our community,” he said. “Bethany Brun, assistant director of Community Engagement, does a great job each year of recruiting offices to participate in the Trick or Treat event. It gives students another chance to enjoy the holiday and discover some places, people or services on campus that they weren’t aware of, and it gives our staff and administrators a chance to meet students they may not normally interact with. “We’re always excited to see the latest and greatest elaborate costumes each year.” Lindahl said.

“Our students are truly so wonderful and creative.”