DePauwty Must Go On: Halloween Following COVID-19

1042

Due to COVID-19, DePauw no longer had haunted houses in Greek residences, escape rooms at East College, or social events where students could dress up in their choice of costume. 

Because of the pandemic, the students’ arrival to campus was pushed back a week, resulting in the cancellation of fall break right after midterms. 

Students React to last Halloween

Senior Kristina Mikhailova said, “Students were exhausted. We studied, studied, studied until November. And even those who were on campus were virtual. I think students still tried to make it feel like it was Halloween. In our chapter, students would still dress up and they would put themed backgrounds on Zoom.”

The restrictions and precautions that the University had to take resulted in canceling the majority if not all of the planned holiday events, leaving students with little to do on Halloween. 

In response to being asked how he celebrated the holiday on campus, sophomore Sebastian Manrique said, “It wasn’t anything crazy. We just played a few board games.” 

“Back in New York, I would usually take my younger brother trick-or-treating for a bit of time and then we spent the night watching movies. Last year, I wasn’t able to celebrate,” sophomore Elizabeth Lee said about her holiday on campus.

While Halloween is celebrated differently in various cities across the United States, most international students have not experienced the full extent of the holiday. 

Mikhailova added, “I’m an international student from Russia and back at home, Halloween is not a part of our culture. When I was going to the States, I was looking forward to Halloween. As an international student, holidays are a part of our experience. I think it’s important for DePauw to realize that those celebrations might be normal for domestic students, but for students coming from different backgrounds, they have not experienced Halloween, Thanksgiving, or even Christmas.”

Sophomore Yuko Yutaka said, “Coming from Tokyo, I was sad that last year I couldn’t go trick or treating, attend halloween events, or socialize with people I normally wouldn’t, but I hope this year will be better.”

Students React to this Halloween

DePauw’s campus status is currently yellow, meaning “COVID-19 is managed on our campus. Yellow Status is indicated when cases of COVID-19 occur in well-defined clusters on our campus,” according to an email sent to students from the COVID-19 Mitigation Team. With this in mind, students are still hopeful to fully participate in the Halloween experiences that DePauw provided in years past. 

Junior Devonia Monroe said, “DePauw is known for Halloweekend! My first year, the parties were a blast and it was a really unique way to meet new people and learn a little about everyone’s personalities through their chosen costumes. Imagining a time where these events did not occur is only a hindrance to the full DePauw experience. This year, I plan on doing a pledge class costume, a costume with my twin sister, and an individual costume.”

“I think I’m excited about the costume part. I’m also part of the Sustainability Leadership program and I do a lot of stuff at the farm, so I know we will have some special treats for students. I think anything that has to do with pumpkins, costumes, and Halloween spirit I’m just looking forward to,” Mikhailova said. 

As COVID-19 cases become more contained, students become increasingly excited to finally celebrate Halloween with peers and friends on campus and regain the college experience that was lost last year due to pandemic restrictions.