Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Children Trick-Or-Treat at UMASS

By Mary Reines

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Collegian File Photo

Last night, 2-year-old Mackenzie Johnson came to the University of Massachusetts dressed as “the Pig” from the Angry Birds cell phone game.

“She calls him ‘Pigolo,’” her mother, junior Abby Sossen said.

Johnson received Halloween candy from freshman Mariah McNamara for the Children’s Trick-Or-Treat event held at Crabtree and Knowlton residence halls in the Northeast Residential Area.

Knowlton/Crabtree Residential Director Katy Maher started planning the event in late September.

Maher, a new employee at UMass, has done the event before as a graduate student at Boston College and as an undergraduate residential advisor at Saint Anselm College.  On Halloween, between 4 and 7 p.m., she could be found by the entrance of Knowlton, ready to greet visitors. She talked about the advantages of an indoor setting for trick-or-treating.

“Typically October is a lot colder,” she said.  “It’s nice to give them a place to go that’s inside.”

Families from North Village Apartments were invited to the event, as well as “other families within the campus community,” according to a press release.

Maher said that there were about 200 kids living in North Village Apartments, and prepared accordingly for “anywhere between 10 and that many” visitors.

“We have a movie and some snacks ready to go and we have crafts in some of the other lounges too, just to give them a safe and warm place to trick-or-treat,” she said.  Residents were given the option of signing up for the event and then signs marked the doors of those who chose to participate.

Over in Crabtree, a group of four young boys knocked on doors for candy.  There was Daighan LeBlanc, 4, dressed as a knight, Tyler Flory, 4, dressed as a dragon, and Logan Flory Caedman LeBlanc, both 4, dressed as Darth Vader.  The boys were excited to be there, and excited by the prospect of eating the candy later.

“We’re sitting on about $200 of Halloween candy,” Maher said.

The event was funded by the Knowlton/Crabtree House Council, and candy was distributed to residents who signed up to participate.

But “a lot of people have decorated on their own too,” said House Council Vice President Roshan Patel.

One participant, freshman Ashley White, joined other students on the first floor of Knowlton in hanging streamers from a doorway for the children.

“I love Halloween,” she said.  “It’s fun for me to decorate and make it fun.”

White was excited for the children to come and trick-or-treat.

“It’s another way to connect with the kids,” she said.

According to Maher, about 50 rooms, or 100 residents, participated in the event, with about 30 trick-or-treaters between the two buildings.  There were also 15 volunteers and residential advisors who greeted visitors and directed traffic.

“I would like to do it next year,” she said.

Mary Reines can be reached at [email protected]

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