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Halloween trick-or-treating not allowed in residence halls this week

Because of added safety measures, trick-or-treaters cannot enter residence halls without a student escort

Students dressed as characters from Dora the Explorer hand candy to Trick or Treaters in Larzelere Hall on Oct. 31.

On past Halloweens, residence halls at Central Michigan University were filled with local children dressed as Disney Princesses and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles carrying bags of candy larger than them. Kids ran from door to door in the hallways shouting “trick-or-treat,” while students handed out candy. 

The spirit of Halloween that kids brought to the halls will not be found this year. Residence Life put restrictions on trick-or-treating in the residence halls as a way to ensure CMU student safety.

“It’s not that Residence Life decided to cancel Halloween this year,” said Kathleen Gardner, director of Residence Life. 

On Oct. 29, CMU posted on social media about this restriction. It included a link to a list of other activities parents and their children can participate in around Mount Pleasant.

Gardner said allowing kids and parents freely into the halls to trick-or-treat just isn’t feasible anymore, as CMU moves to more safe and secure buildings. 

In the Towers and East Campus, card readers appear at each exterior door and between hallways inside the building. Because of the card access control, community members cannot get through the halls without a student escorting them. 

Gardner said she communicated to hall councils, saying they could still put on events in the residence halls for the public, including escorting trick-or-treaters through the halls. 

“If we’re going to do this, we need to think about how we’re going to utilize lobbies, and then how we’re escorting guests into the residence halls, because these are our students' homes,” Gardner said. 

Gardner said she did not hear of any events that were being put on by halls this year.

Mary St. John, Tawas junior and president of Residence Hall Assembly, and Te’Aira Carter, Macomb sophomore and president of Kesseler Hall Council said they did not know trick-or-treating was restricted in the residence halls this year. 

St. John said she participated in trick-or-treating last year. She felt it was a good community builder.

“(Students) most times seem separated from the rest of the Mount Pleasant... because a lot of us aren’t natives here,” St. John said. “Usually it’s a cool community builder to be able to interact with actual Mount Pleasant people.” 

Grayling sophomore and Vice President of Larzelere Hall Council Paige Millikan said she had heard through “hearsay” that trick-or-treating would not be allowed in the halls this year. She wishes students could have had some input on the decision.

“I definitely understand where they’re coming from… but since it was such a big part of Halloween around CMU, and I feel like it’s a big thing for the community as a whole, I definitely would have appreciated some input into how it was handled,” Millikan said.  

Millikan was also unaware that her hall could host an event. She hopes next year some form of trick-or-treating can return to CMU. 

It was unclear where the lack of communication fell between Residence Life and hall councils. Kesseler Residence Hall Director Darell Armentrout refused to comment, along with Larzelere RHD Nicole Acker and Troutman/Campbell RHD Jennifer Chesney. 

While Gardner recognizes how long this tradition has been around, she hopes that hall councils will take initiative in the future so the tradition does not completely end. 

Trick-or-treating in Northwest Apartments and Kewadin Village is still allowed since these buildings are “public areas.”