RHA treats kids to Halloween fun on campus

CNU residence halls opened up decorated doors to trick-or-treaters

Hundreds of children and parents from the local community gathered on campus for Residence Hall Association’s (RHA) annual Trick or Treat event. The event hosted in first-year residence halls gives the Newport News community a safe space to trick or treat every year. Walking through decorated halls by volunteers from RHA and other campus organizations, families from the community get to go “door to door” trick or treating from first year students.

“Logistically, it is one of RHA’s best-run and largest programs,” RHA President Kaitlyn Gumann shared about the event.

The annual trick or treat continues to grow every year and had 500 visitors this year.

Melissa Lourie, RHA Advisor, shares that this is part of the reason why the event has continued as long as it has. 

“Every year we go back and forth, because it’s such an expensive program, but seeing as this is some families’ primary form of trick or treating we have to continue it.”

Grace Sharllin, Assistant Director of Advocacy for RHA, shared that she had met one family that had been coming to the event for 15 years. 

Beyond providing a resource for the community, RHA also shared that the event connects freshman and first-year students to each other and the outside community, including their professors. 

“It helps build relationships on halls, but also between students and faculty and staff,” Gumann said. “Seeing your professor walk through the building you live in with their kids helps students round out their professors as people instead of just being faculty members.”

The Trick or Treat event is also a highlight for many first-year students. Speaking with some in Potomac, they shared that they loved getting to see all the children dressed up. Of their favorite costumes, they shared that a child dressed as a waffle “made their night.”

The event is not a one-day process, though. Most students start decorating days in advance and planning for them even longer in advance, with some halls choosing to plan out cohesive themes— some halls took the community to the beach, candyland, inside of a storybook or blasted them out into space.

The decorations for each hall are primarily funded through RHA, which provides crafting supplies to help decorate. That said, many residents chose to go above and beyond and provide their own decorations for the event, completely transforming their halls.

The first-year residents are also encouraged to dress up in their own Halloween costumes.

Whether it is the holiday spirit, love of the community or annual hall decorating contest prize of a pizza party that motivates them, no one can say. 

However, for one family visiting, they are just happy it exists. “I love it. I come back every year. My mom actually works  for the CHECS office here and she told me about the event, and we’ve come every year since,” said one attendee.


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