Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Trick-or-Treat Comes to Copley Lawn

While some students put the finishing touches on their costumes and prepared to partake in Halloween festivities, others extended the Halloween spirit to children of the greater Georgetown community at the first Georgetown University Student Association Safe Night on Thursday.

Student groups sponsored and organized Halloween-themed activities for children and families, who trick-or-treated from table to table.

Andi DeBellis (MSB ’14) approached GUSA with the idea and helped organize the event.

“Besides a GUSA position, and a little bit that the Office of Community Engagement does, there’s no student movement to show that Georgetown is a resource to our neighbors,” DeBellis said.

GUSA helped coordinate the event by acting as a cost center and umbrella under which the participant student groups organized activities.

“I thought it was a great idea. This is the type of thing that we’re really trying to push more of, getting students in front of neighbors in a more positive light and also showing the community members what Georgetown has to offer that’s more positive than just noise and trash,” GUSA Secretary of Neighborhood Relations Pieter Fossel (SFS ’14) said.

Office of Community Engagement Special Projects Coordinator Candace Mosely also saw the event as a step toward improving the university’s relationship with the neighborhood.

“A lot of what Georgetown has is, first of all, there’s passion from the students, but there’s also just knowledge they have to share, and I think this is just a great opportunity for neighbors to get to see that side of it,” Mosely said.

The night’s festivities included a pumpkin patch, apple picking, free hot cocoa, free candy and live music. A number of student groups contributed resources, including Students of Georgetown Inc., the Georgetown University Farmers Market, GIVES, Relay for Life, FOCI, Catholic Daughters, the Georgetown University Grilling Society and Right to Life.

“It will also be a great opportunity for us to talk with community members and invite them to our event in April,” Relay for Life Chair Dan Silkman (COL ’15) said. “This year we’re really looking to work with the Office of Neighborhood Life and really seek out the neighbors to come because we do think that our event could be this unifying force on campus for our relationship with the community.”

A number of faculty members attended the event as well.

“Family atmosphere brings the community together, I think it’s wonderful. I like the mix of the college students with the families, I think that’s a nice touch,” Jeannine LaRocque, an assistant professor in the department of human science, said. “We live in the community, so we hear both sides of it, and so I see this as definitely one event of many that Georgetown participates in to try and pull the community life into campus as well.”

The organizers hope that the Halloween event will set a precedent for further on-campus inclusion of the neighborhood.

“I’m hoping that maybe it’ll get students thinking a little bit more about how to involve the community in all of our activities, so that the neighbors aren’t as scared of us and we’re not as scared of the neighbors, and just providing an avenue for more working together and more collaboration,” DeBellis said.

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