October 26, 2012
SU tradition enjoyed by all
Halloween on the Ave is a tradition cherished by both students on campus and families throughout the Selinsgrove community.
This year, Halloween on the Ave will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on University Avenue.
Erica Stephenson, associate director of Residence Life, has been running Halloween on the Ave since it began seven years ago.
"Halloween on the Ave is essentially a Halloween festival for both Susquehanna students and for local children and community members," she said. "Alpha Phi Omega hosted a haunted house seven years ago and a couple of other houses on University Avenue offered little things like trick or treat on the same night. The next year it grew a little bigger and they advertised it to the local community and got a lot of kids from Selinsgrove."
Greek Life Coordinator Joseph Thompson helps Stephenson keep track of all the Greek organizations participating in the event.
"I basically support Erica. It's really her event, but because all the Greek organizations participate, I'm there to support," he said. "I go around and make sure all the groups are ready to go and set for the day and make sure everyone is prepared."
Organizations on campus, including non-Greek organizations, join in on the fun and provide booths with games or food for children on trick or treat night.
"The games, activities and giveaways are all free. It's not meant to be a fundraising drive. It's meant to be something kids can come and do without having parents shell out a lot of money for it," Stephenson said.
"Families can bring their children to participate in free, fun Halloween-themed activities," Thompson said.
While plenty of fun and games are provided for the local community members, Thompson and Stephenson hope to get lots of interest from students on campus.
"A big component of Halloween on the Ave is the Greek organization Tau Kappa Epsilon. They do a really scary haunted house for students, but Phi Mu Alpha does a G-rated haunted house for younger kids," Stephenson said.
Halloween on the Ave is a great way for members of the Susquehanna campus community to give back to those families living in Selinsgrove.
"Halloween on the Ave gives kids out trick or treating a really safe, fun opportunity to both trick or treat and play games and have good, clean Halloween fun," she said. "The parents don't have to worry about tainted candy or things like that. They actually block the streets now so kids can cross without worrying about getting hit by cars."
Organizations on campus, including Circle K and Big Brothers Big Sisters, join the Greeks with providing games such as beanbag toss and other fun activities for kids.
"I think it's a great opportunity, and I'm hoping other students from Susquehanna come and check it out so they come and participate next year," Thompson said. "I'd really like to double the amount of organizations and students participating. We have over a hundred student organizations on campus, and I think it's a great way to have them come together and participate in something together."
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