By Michelle Giuseffi, Staff Writer
On Halloween, students participated in the first Off-Campus Halloween Decorating Contest.
The contest, arranged by the Office of Off-Campus Living and Commuting Student Services and sponsored by the Inter-Fraternity Sorority Council, was open to any off-campus student house within the five zip codes around the University's campus.
Houses were decorated with everything from cobwebs to skeletons to recycled homecoming materials. Decorations were put up throughout the week, and judged morning of Saturday, October 31.
Three judges drove to each house to assess creativity, originality, community relations and neatness. All the participants seemed to enjoy the festivities.
Christine Bonina, a decorator at the Fairview house commented, "I thought it would be a hassle [to decorate] but I had a lot of fun."
Others found a homelike comfort in decorating their houses. Junior Gabriella Picatoste commented, "This is my favorite time of year… at home, I always decorated."
The event also connected these students to their off-campus communities, particularly the children in the area. Hillary Franklin of the Rhodes house stated, "The kids on the street came around. They seemed like they liked it. It's nice getting to know them." Danielle Marra, another student decorator, stated, "I hope we get some trick-or-treaters."
Anita Ellis and Bruce Reddock, coordinators of the program, came up with the idea in a conversation. Ellis' goal was "to make off-campus students feel part of our campus community. [Events like this] give them that campus atmosphere."
Overall, Ellis thought the program was a success stating, "You know what's nice? To see people smiling about it."
Each house received a bucket of candy for participating. After the judges tallied the scores, first place, a tie, was awarded to the Fairview and Rhodes houses. Second place was awarded to the Meadowbrook house, and third place was awarded to the McKenna house. Each placing house was awarded a gift card.