As the Halloween moon descended over the outline of the Lederle Graduate Research Center, trick-or-treaters paced their way across Northeast Residential Area in search of something to satisfy their sweet-tooth.
On Wednesday, the Northeast/Sylvan Area Government and house councils decided to host their very own trick-or-treating event for families and children of Amherst. Staff members of the event and parents alike were eager to see the creative costumes donned by the little ones.
“It’s fun to see them smile,” said Jaydeep Radadiya, the lieutenant governor of Northeast.
Trick-or-treaters were greeted with the warm welcome of Sam the Minuteman, and proceeded into the Dwight, Leach and Crabtree residential buildings on the quest to satiate their sugary cravings.
The event has become somewhat of a University of Massachusetts tradition, and is now entering its eighth year of operation. Welcomed and inevitably admired by spectators was this year’s rich variety of costumes sported by those who came for the trick-or-treating frenzy. This child-friendly atmosphere is one that Ruceille Jimenez, one of the coordinators of the event, hopes to maintain.
“We want to keep this [event] going because UMass generally has a stigma of partying that may be unsafe for children,” Jimenez said. “We want to be able to bring in kids and show them, ‘Hey, this is a good university, you can trick-or-treat here!’”
The youngsters surely didn’t disappoint with their ensembles for the night. When asked for the most popular costume seen around the premises, Radadiya says that he’s “not so sure, but Captain Marvel seems to be one of them.”
“I’ve seen a lot of Star Wars … especially Kylo Ren,” said UMass alum Edward York. “Harry Potter is also a perennial favorite, but overall I’m gonna have to say princesses.”
York, another coordinator for the event, hoped for it to achieve a “fostering of unity” amongst the Northeast and Sylvan Residential Areas. This unification includes an aim to “increase the Sylvan and Northeast government’s visibility for UMass.”
As York explained, Sylvan was not always a part of the Northeast government, “so [the coordinators] want to make sure that Sylvan feels included and that they have the ability to participate in all these amazing events.”
Additionally, UMass’ international students, a large portion of Northeast Area residents, were also encouraged to come out for the festivities. York touched upon the elements of American culture that the event can deliver.
“We [the coordinators] want to give them that taste of American culture … and to feel the sugar and all that,” he joked. “We have a lot of international students that don’t get to see Halloween on an annual basis.”
Cameron Gibney can be reached at [email protected]