Drake University brings the magic of Halloween to campus

For one of the latest papers I’ve written for my Reporting and Writing Principles class, I attended and wrote about the Halloween event that is put on by Drake University’s Student Activities Board (SAB) every year. Below is my paper which includes interviews with current Drake students and members of SAB.

Halloween Spooktacular creates a spooktacular Halloween celebration

The Halloween Spooktacular, a classic Drake University Halloween tradition full of carnival games, contests, and a haunted tunnel, occurred on Oct. 30.

Open to all Drake students, the event is put on every year by the Drake Student Activities Board (SAB). This year’s event, led by sophomore Spirit Co-chair Abby Tillotson, was just as lively as previous years but with a few minor changes.

Due to budget cuts implemented by the Student Senate, many organizations and clubs lost funding. This included SAB. As a result, the organization faced some obstacles in figuring out what activities to prioritize and which to replace.

“We did choose laser tag over a mechanical bull this year,” Tillotson said. In addition, this year’s game room, typically filled with endless arcade games, was replaced with carnival games run by SAB members.

This year’s Spooktacular event consisted of various activities like pumpkin painting, games, laser tag, karaoke, trivia, and the Haunted Tunnel. Aside from these main attractions, SAB held a costume contest and offered free food. There were also performances from D+, Brochal Chords, and Fermata the Blue throughout the night.

Digital Media Co-chair for SAB Kate Elstrom, spent her night photographing the event for SAB’s PR and Graphic Design chairs. She described the event as a way for students to celebrate and have fun.

“I just think it’s a great way to have something to do to celebrate Halloween, especially because I feel like as young adults, we don’t really get as many opportunities to actually celebrate and get to dress up,” Elstrom said.

This year’s biggest attraction seemed to be the Haunted Tunnel which took place in Drake’s very own underground tunnels. The entrance started at the entrance next to Stalnaker Hall, a first-year dorm, on 30th Street, and ended in the basement of Olmsted Center. The Haunted Tunnel, put on by volunteers, was effective in more ways than one. The tunnel was dark with minimal lights required to see where to go and decorations at every end. From obstacles like makeshift walls, cobwebs, and hanging props, the “victim” was distracted enough for the actors to appear out of the tunnel’s dark crevices and evoke screams from everyone who dared to enter.

“My favorite part was definitely the Haunted Tunnel,” said Natalie Libbus, a sophomore at Drake University. “It was really elaborately done. I’ve been to official haunted mansions before and it was similar. Like, they had the décor, and the acting was very good. I was scared.”

From free food and welcoming faces to costume contests and games, the Halloween Spooktacular creates a welcoming and safe environment for students to come together and celebrate Halloween no matter what style of celebrating they partake in. It’s a great way to meet others and celebrate Halloween without the stereotypical college experience of going to bars and fraternity parties.

While the Spooktacular is one of SAB’s biggest events of the year, only topped by the Drake Relays events including the annual concert, Libbus said that the organization has lots of other events planned for the rest of the semester. She wants students to take part, if only to take a break from the normal workload of college. “I think that all fun events on campus are really important for students to know about and attend,” said Libbus, “just because it’s really important for morale to be able to get together and have a fun event in the middle of crazy academics because it does get to be a lot and it’s really nice to have something provided for you.”

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