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Despite rain and Covid, Safety Street flourishes

On October 29, 2020

BY MAXINE MOORE / VN STAFF WRITER

The annual campus Halloween celebration for local children took place on Friday, Oct. 23, in front of Titan field. 

Volunteers were placed at the McNichols entrance gate and throughout campus in order to guide guests through the drive-thru event.

Guests were greeted by two freshmen volunteers.

“I love to volunteer, so I signed up,” said Shriya Chowdhury, a first-year biology major.

Jennifer Elias, her volunteer buddy, is also a first-year student, studying pre-dental biology.

Elias heard about the opportunity from event director Adam Hollman and decided to pitch in.

The two handed out information indicating the number of children in the cars so that those volunteering could provide the correct number of bags of candy.

Car after car made its way to the tent despite persistent thunderstorms.

Last year, Miles Angel, a senior studying business, painted his fraternity’s façade. This year, he was excited to be able to pass out candy.

He was pleased by the number of cars making an appearance and applauded the event on how well it was executing safety protocols due to the pandemic.

Even university President Antoine Garibaldi showed his support for the annual event.

The Student Nurses Association made an appearance despite the rain, too.

Association President Dominique Mones said that the group shows up to Safety Street every year, “rain or shine.”

“It’s definitely different,” she said. “Last year it was so crowded, it was insane.”

The weather made things a little more difficult, she noted.

Hollman, who is assistant director of Student Life Programming, was excited to be able to put on the event despite the pandemic.

Hollman noted that the event was established by the School of Architecture.

He said there are not many neighborhoods near campus that are safe for kids to trick-or-treat.

There used to be small decorative houses for the kids to explore, he explained.

The Student Life office took over the event several years ago.

Although the event takes place on the McNichols campus, all three campuses participate, said Hollman.

The dental school, for example, donates toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and other oral hygiene products every year.

According to Hollman, this year’s event raised about 1,200 pounds of candy, which is a little less than what is normally raised.

“Things are so different with Covid,” he said.

The event normally is held in the fountain area where student organization, fraternities and sororities set up decorative façades where kids interact with and pick up their candy.

The Student Life office encouraged healthy competition between students to see who could donate the most candy.

This year only the faculty competed, but students accounted for more than half of this year’s candy supply, said Hollman.

“The cool thing about this event is that it’s been going on for 31 years now,” he said. “The originals that were coming to this event 30 years ago … they’re parents now and they bring their kids back.”  

 

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