Mia Rollins, Staff Writer
Dressed in costumes and face paint, parents and kids lined up outside the doors of residence buildings bright and early to begin trick-or-treating on the Saint Martin’s University campus.
Community Halloween took place on Oct. 28 right in the Saint Martin’s residence halls.
The festivities began at 10 a.m. and lasted until 12 p.m. Students opened up their dorms to pass out candy to the miniature super heroes, princesses, monsters, and storm troopers that knocked on their doors. Saint Martin’s has always strived to show hospitality, and the school did just that at Community Halloween as a reflection of the Benedictine value of community, their theme for this academic year.
“Community Halloween is an event where Saint Martin’s hosts hundreds of families around the area and allows them to trick-or-treat in the residence halls and the recreation center. Saint Martin’s students are a vital part to the equation along with residence life and campus life. At the end of the day, it’s the students who literally open their doors to the trick-or-treaters and give out little pieces of joy. This event would not be successful without the generosity of the student volunteers,” said Jase Kugiya, a Parsons Hall resident assistant.
The university donated all the candy that was passed out, allowing residents to focus their time and attention on the spirited visitors.
“In our hall nearly all the doors were open because so many people signed up to hand out candy. So all the volunteers were talking and joking while passing out candy to the kids and talking with the parents” said Kennedy Birley, a first-year student and volunteer.
Parents all over Lacey and Olympia shared that the younger ones had fun too.
“The trick-or-treating has been my favorite so far, the kids loved it,” said Niki Covert, a guest and mom of three.
With students away from home for the holiday, many chose to hand out candy to keep the tradition alive right from their own door.
“I think a lot of the people chose to hand out candy because it is our first year away from home and we all have family traditions so it’s a little weird to not be at home. I guess for me it was an attempt to start a new Halloween tradition for myself because at home I always pass out candy to the neighborhood kids,” explained Birley.
First-year students weren’t the only ones experiencing Community Halloween for the first time. Parents and guests were surprised by the school’s involvement in the neighborhood.
“I’ve never heard of anybody doing this at a school, this is amazing, having young adults here running everything is just great for the kids to see…I think it’s role modeling, it’s mentoring, its positive reinforcement of just good things to do” said Heather Sarin, a participant of the event.
The school not only practiced the Benedictine values of hospitality and community, but the other values as well. Saint Martin’s has also shown that connecting with the outside community is essential.
“Being that two of our University’s core values are “service” and “community” it is important that Saint Martin’s hosts events that exemplify those values. Saint Martin’s does an excellent job of engaging the community and demonstrating to its students that our core values aren’t just rhetoric. Instead, these values are applied to everything we do as a Benedictine institution” said Kugiya.