By Sara Pompeo
With Halloween not even a day away, Youngstown State University has a variety of events planned for students in the Halloween mood — from parties to trick-or-treating around the different housing units.
YSU Housing & Residence Life and Student Activities will present one such event, “Fever Fever: A Multicultural Halloween Celebration,” Oct. 30 from 7-10 p.m.
Ashley Jones, a residential education graduate assistant with YSU Housing and Residence Life, is one of the chief organizers for the celebration.
“The overall learning objective of the event is to expose the campus community to various cultures’ traditions as they relate to the holiday of Halloween. … The goal has always been to provide YSU students with experiential learning,” Jones said.
Jones said the event, in the years since its conception, has evolved and expanded year to year, and this year is no different.
Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos — Day of the Dead — celebrates the holiday by face painting traditional sugar skulls, which students will have the opportunity to do. Traditional tarot card readings — a 15th century playing card game that slowly evolved into a method of divination practiced by members of the occult from the 18th century onward — will also be given. American traditions will also be incorporated, like a costume contest and candy bar.
Students will also have the opportunity to craft traditional dream catchers, based on the ones used by some Native American cultures. While doing so, the students will learn what each color — red, blue and yellow — and each item — willow ring, web and feathers — represents.
Live music will be performed by Fever Fever. Jones said the band is one Student Activities and Penguin Productions have been interested in bringing to YSU’s campus previously.
“Fever Fever was chosen … because the band has stated … that they have a specific interest in incorporating instruments and other components from various cultures in their performances,” she said. “It seemed to be a natural fit that they would be the entertainment for the Multicultural Halloween.”
The multicultural festival is not the only thing going on for Halloween this year. The Residence Hall Association, which is part of YSU Housing and Residence Life, is hosting a trick-or-treating event.
Trick-or-treating is also Oct. 30 from 4-6 p.m., right before the Multicultural Celebration at 7 p.m., and students can visit Kilcawley House, Lyden House, Cafaro House and the University Courtyards with parents and children.
The communications department will host yet another Halloween event in the form of their 5th Annual Halloween Costume Contest at Inner Circle Pizza — which is Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Jeffrey Tyus, associate professor in the Department of Communications, is helping to put on the event.
The proceeds for the event will benefit cancer research, and the event has raised over one thousand dollars for The American Cancer Society and Relay for Life within the past two years.
“Raising money for the fight against cancer is the most important reason for the event,” Tyus said. “The need for more students to get involved in contributing to cancer research is important.”
The Halloween Costume Contest will have a $5 donation for unlimited pizza and punch and a $5 costume contest entrance fee. Four gift baskets will be auctioned off and there will be cancer trivia contest, with prizes given to the winners.
Inner Circle will also be offering a special Halloween drink at its cash bar and DJ J-Holla, a YSU graduate, is providing the music.
Erin Driscoll, director of YSU Student Activities, explained why hosting events like these on campus is important.
“I think it is just as important for students to have a social connection to campus, along with an academic one. These events help them to connect to other students and to make memories within a college setting,” she said. “Students are already celebrating Halloween, so why not do it at the university, where events and entertainment are being provided?”