Campus Conservations

Children with candy-filled bags trick-or-treated down the halls of the freshman dorms on Halloween as part of the College’s annual tradition of inviting faculty members, their children and local youth groups to trick or treat in the dorms. But the benefits extended to the students as well.

“I think it was great just having the youngsters in the hallway, having some connection to outside the bubble,” said Stearns RC Laurel Kilgour ’03.

Kellie McEvoy ’05, also a Stearns RC, agreed. “It gives students a way to see life outside of college,” she said.

Though James and Stearns had not participated in the past years, they decided to help break the stereotype of the two dorms. “I remember that it was done in North and South,” said Alexis Weiss ’04, a third Stearns RC. “There’s sort of a stigma against James and Stearns, but I thought it was silly and so we decided to do it.”

“I think it’s especially great because it counteracts the stigma of James and Stearns by helping out the community and having fun with the little kids,” added Kilgour.

Though the event ran smoothly, the RCs felt it could have been better. “It was lots of fun, but all the RCs and the students that participated wished that we could have gotten more groups to come at one time,” said Weiss. “Ideally, the freshman dorms should do it all together on the same day and the trick-or-treaters could go to all the dorms.”

“It would have been nicer if it was later in the evening so all the sports people could participate in it,” added Kilgour.

“I’ve heard that all the kids are always excited to come to the dorm,” said Weiss. “It’s probably exciting for them to be in a college dorms. Plus they get maximum candy for minimum walking.”

McEvoy summed it up, “I think the kids had a great time. It’s a tradition.”

Chads not included

In the Campus Center Frontroom on Tuesday night, an increasingly large crowd of students gathered and stayed until all hours watching TV. They were munching on chips and dip, eating cookies, lounging around on plush couches and chatting about a wide range of subjects, planning to stick around until the building closed at 2:00 a.m.

However, these students weren’t your usual TV viewers. They were not glued to the television for a close football game or a marathon viewing of “Friends.”

Instead, they were intently watching the results of the 435 races in the House of Representatives, 34 Senatorial races and 36 contested governor’s seats. Many of the races were too close to call before the results started coming in, so the night was expected to be exciting.

“Two years ago, the 2000 election was so close and exciting that we had a party here to watch it, and we stayed in the Campus Center until they basically had to kick us out,” said Elaine Ewing ’04. After the success of the 2000 event, a second go-around was organized.

“It’s really nice to have multiple TVs, and you learn a lot from people in the room,” Ewing said, explaining the pluses of a party of this sort. Indeed, even as early as 9:00 p.m., students were already congregating around the television sets and relaxing on the couches.

As the evening was getting started, Ben Baum ’03, co-president of the Amherst Democrats predicted quite a crowd. “We’ve had a lot of interest in the elections this year,” he said. “Students have a lot vested in many of the races.”

“Cleland better win,” said self-described “political junkie” Stephen Striver ’06, a Georgia native. “I’m a bit nervous right now. I think the democrats should be doing a little bit better.”