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Howling winds and rustling leaves set the scene for this year’s annual Trick-or-Treat at Ohio Northern University, while children from Hardin County and surrounding areas played their roles to perfection. Monsters, princesses, pirates and superheroes were all on hand to celebrate Halloween on campus.
ONU Trick-or-Treat puts a distinctively college spin on Halloween. Instead of going door-to-door, children go dorm-to-dorm, collecting candy through halls decorated according to a theme chosen by the student residents.
The sometimes spooky, sometimes sweet, themes ranged from Candyland, Disney, Super Mario World and the Great Pumpkin, to pirates and the wild jungle.
Trick-or-Treat began years ago in Clark Hall. Since its closing, the event has been sponsored by Residence Life and expanded to include the freshman dorms Founders and 5UP, as well as Affinity Village.
“We’ve got everyone involved,” said Mandy Majkutowski, a fifth year pharmacy major and senior resident assistant of Klondike’s Den. “Greek Life is sponsoring the Affinity Village, Residence Life is here, Security are serving as cross walkers, and a lot of students are fulfilling community service hours as tour guides.”
Along with the Homecoming parade and carnival, Trick-or-Treat is one of ONU’s biggest fall community events.
“This is a really, really neat program that the university has been doing for many, many years,” said ONU President Dr. Kendall Baker. “And I think it’s important for two reasons. One, it’s fun for our kids. Our students absolutely love to do this. They decorate their residence halls and then they love to be able to hand out candy to the kids as they come through. And secondly, it’s neat for the community because they can experience the university, and parents can feel secure and know that it’s safe.”
For parents like Dawn Shafer of Ada, Ohio, safety is a big reason she and her daughter Kylie keep coming back each year.
“This is our favorite event every year,” she said. “It’s a great time and it’s a safe environment. You know that everyone is monitored and kids aren’t running in the streets or anything like that.”
In addition to trick-or-treating, the evening also featured a pumpkin carving contest and cutest costume contest. And, to offset all the candy, each child also received a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, generously donated by area dentists.