Costumes at UMass

By Mary Reines

Mary Reines/Collegian

Students weren’t the only ones in costume yesterday.  Seventy-year-old Melanie McNeill dressed as a carrot to show her Halloween spirit.

The dining hall worker, clad in orange, changed her nametag to read “Daucos Carota.”  She also used some elastic, tape and sewing finesse to cover a bicycle helmet with orange material, placing plastic fronds on the top to replicate the leafy part.

But dressing up is nothing new for McNeill, who has worked at Franklin Dining Commons for 25 years, and comes in costume every Halloween.

“They’re not always as successful as this one,” she said.

Students also showed their Halloween spirit yesterday.  Freshmen Ryan Stanley and Max Schmitt dressed as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, respectively, from the TV show “SpongeBob SquarePants.”  It took them about two days and one trip to Target to pull their costumes together.

Sophomore Gabby Ramirez dressed as Tinker Bell, complete with a wand, green wings and silver sequined shoes.  Unfortunately for Ramirez, a morning midterm stunted her evening plans.  But she was happy to dress during the day.

“I figured I should get another use out of my costume before Halloween was over,” she said.

When Ramirez was younger, her family used to put up Halloween decorations outside the house.

It was “totally all decked out.  In fact, my basement still has Halloween decorations I think,” she said.  She also used to hold Halloween parties in her barn.

“My family loves Halloween.  My mom used to be really, really into it when we were kids,” Ramirez said.

While Ramirez was “decked out” in her Tinker Bell costume, not everyone was dressed up for Halloween.  Nineteen-year-old Bianca Sena planned to go to her friend’s house to see the band Chalk Talk perform.  Would she dress up?

“Probably not,” she said.  “But my friends are.”


Mary Reines can be reached at [email protected].