Socially distanced events planned on campus for Halloween

Students painting pumpkins during an Honors College pumpkin decorating event.

Megan Becker Reporter

Campus organizations are trying to keep students safe and COVID-19-free this Halloween with socially distanced events and activities.

In the past, Kent State’s Halloween has been a celebration drawing many people to campus. Now, campus organizations are creating events to keep students involved with Halloween festivities, but in small groups or individually.

The first annual Spooky Sprint virtual 5k race, planned by Alpha Lambda Delta, aims to create a fun Halloween activity that participants can enjoy from anywhere.

“We chose to do it online because not everybody is living on campus. Not everybody is in Kent or even Ohio,” said Maggie Selva, programming co-chair of ALD. “This would be a good way for our ALD members, and for anyone who’s interested, to still be involved on campus and do an event and still feel that connection. It’s virtual so anyone and everyone can participate from wherever they are.”

Participants can register for the virtual event any time from now until Halloween and can complete the 5k any time and anywhere they wish. Participants will receive a T-shirt and medal for completing the race and the person with the fastest time will also win a gift card. Rewards will be shipped to participants to ensure social distancing.

“Halloween is such a big deal in Kent; this is a good alternative for people who don’t want to go out and party and stuff like that,” Selva said. “This is something that they can do to still have the Kent Halloween spirit while doing something that’s more to their liking.”

Other campus organizations are holding in-person events that follow the Flashes Safe Seven and other COVID-19 safety guidelines. Erin Ahrens, the Honors College community engagement coordinator, organized a pumpkin decorating event in small groups involving eight students and two advisers.

“Last week we were able to do it outdoors, which kind of took any element of insecurity out of it. We definitely have the distance; we definitely have the outdoor space. We still wear masks,” Ahrens said. “It’s something you can be hands-on doing, but still talk to people and introduce yourself and meet new people.”

The Flash Activities Board has always been a big source of Halloween activities on campus. This year, FAB is hosting a combination of in-person and virtual events with its annual Fall Festival, a Halloween-themed science experiment and take-and-make fall crafts.

“Our students who run FAB have been very innovative in trying to come up with events that are still engaging despite the guideline we have in place,” said Katie Goldring, associate director of the Center for Student Involvement. “Not [the attendance] numbers we’re used to accommodating at some of our large events, but it is still something for students to participate in.”

Like other in-person events on campus, FAB can only accommodate eight students and two staff members at a time. To include a lot of students, the organization has many small sessions over the course of several hours.

“In between each session, we clean all the materials, sometimes switch to another room, depending on where the event takes place. All of our events have safety first in mind,” Goldring said. “All of our events for participants and staff have felt very safe. Of course everyone has to wear masks, there’s distancing and there’s cleaning protocols.”

Although there are plenty of safe Halloween events planned on campus that don’t involve large groups, it is unclear whether this will stop students from participating in unsafe Halloween activities at night.

“I do think [these events] are a good alternative. However, it is during the day and we can only accommodate as many students as we can accommodate,” Goldring said. “It’s certainly not going to be a large-scale alternative for multiple students, but it is something that is there for students to do in-person activities on Halloween.”

Megan Becker is a COVID-19 reporter. Contact her at [email protected].


Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.