The tradition of trick-or-treating at Mercyhurst is a newer addition to the school, giving students and staff an opportunity to engage in Halloween festivities.
Bethany Brun, coordinator of Service Learning, is the Recognition Committee chair for the Erie Staff Senate, which was responsible for organizing the event.
“Trick-or-treating across Mercyhurst began about two years ago as a result of the Staff Senate Recognition Committee’s desire to increase student visibility in the staff offices,” said Brun. “Students go a lot to their professor’s offices, but they do not always know where Finance, or where Residence Life is located, or where the Graduate Office is or where the Health Center is.”
Brun hopes to grow the committee’s efforts each year.
“This is a great way for students to get around campus and meet different staff members as well as figure out the locations of some offices that they may want to frequent in their upcoming years,” Brun said.
There were 28 offices and departments participating in trick-or-treating on the Erie campus, placing containers filled with candy outside offices and on desks.
Academic Support, Campus Ministry and Service Learning were just a few departments participating in the event.
The faculty and staff enjoyed the opportunity to see students wear costumes, while simultaneously providing information about their work.
“Academic Support has done trick or treat every year I have been here — so three years,” said Kerrie Findlay, academic counselor. “We see some people get really into it and do group costumes. I like trick-or-treat because I get to meet new students that maybe never came to Academic Support before and now they know where to find us and we can let them know what we do.”
One of the major benefits of having the trick-or-treating event across campus is that it gives staff and students an opportunity to interact.
“This gives different opportunities to the staff members to also have fun with students because there are some offices that will never see a student’s face. So this is a good way to get them interacting with students, as well (putting) a face to their work,” Brun said.
Another exciting aspect is that even the staff get to dress up in fun costumes.
“President (Michael T.) Victor gave us, as employees, the ability to dress up for the event so we got some dispensation to be out of our normal garb, which is really fun,” said Brun. “I think it is fun because when you start to grow up, you do not always get to trick or treat. Plus, we have a huge international population, and they get the opportunity to experience an American holiday as it is celebrated here. Mostly, I think it is fun to see everyone dressed up and having fun on that day.”
Nora Arkelian, business administrator in the Hammermill Library, enjoys seeing students dress up and have fun.
“It is a nice way to have kids wind down and dress up (in) various costumes,” said Arkelian. “We see them as they come to the circulation desk. Why not trick or treat? Who cares if you’re in college?”
The Information Technology department in the Hammermill Library often has fun themed decorations.
“IT goes all out every year. One year they turned a room into a Harry Potter-themed room,” Arkelian said.