Fall is guaranteed to bring three things to Stephens College: colorful leaves, midterms and the Mortar Board’s Safe Trick-or-Treat.
“It’s a traditional event from Mortar Board. I’m not sure how long we’ve been doing it, at least as long as I can remember,” Terra Carlson, senior, said.
The event was held Oct. 24 in the Kimball Ballroom. Six groups participated and hosted a variety of stations, ranging from arts and crafts to miniature bowling to a cake walk.
Each group had different reasons for participating. Some do it out of personal interest, like Students Learning About Teacher Education (SLATE).
“We’re an education group, so we like to do a lot of work with children and schools. This is a good way to interact with the kids, and volunteering is always good,” Maile Wortham, sophomore, said.
No matter what club they represented, however, most of the volunteers agreed they were there to serve and help the children.
“It’s a really great opportunity for the kids to come and experience safe trick-or-treating,” freshman Kristin Cook said. “Columbia is a big city, and it’s not even a safe place for college kids to be, let alone children.”
Members of Mortar Board host a variety of events and activities throughout the school year, and Safe Trick-or-Treat is a staple of their agenda.
“We do different service projects every year, but we always do the trick or treating because the kids love the candy and the parents love that it’s safe, and it’s a great way for groups to give back to the community,” Hilary Louise, senior, said.
Along with Carlson and Louise, three other seniors were on the committee: Amelia Carter, Dina Kaissi and Kelsey Neal. The group invited clubs to host each activity, organized the decorations of the space and handled marketing to the families.
“We sent fliers to 30 schools so they could send the students over. A lot of Stephens staff bring their families, too,” Louise said.
This year, the participants experienced a new part of the event: trunk-or-treat. Students parked their cars in the Lela Raney Wood parking lot and decorated their trunks in different themes. The participants could visit each car as if they were houses and receive candy from each one.
The president of Mortar Board, senior Annie Malin, brought this idea to the table.
“When I was at the Mortar Board conference, they were talking about different things that each president brings to the organization. I decided to add the Trunk-or-Treat to our Safe Trick-or-Treat,” Malin said.
The Stephens basketball team was just one of 13 cars decorated for the event.
“We decided to participate to represent the team and be more active in our community,” Dana Heggemann, sophomore, said.
The basketball team decorated their trunk with basketballs and wore their workout uniforms to create its theme. Some groups created themes to go with their costumes, like the Scooby Doo gang decorating their own Mystery Machine, and a mushroom car with a gnome attendant. Others simply decorated their trunks with typical Halloween ornaments, such as fake spider webs and spiders.
A contest was held for the best car in four categories: scariest car, cutest car, best theme and overall best. Meredith Morrow, junior, won scariest car with her graveyard-themed trunk. The cutest award went to the Mystery Machine, decorated by Maddy Spall, Eddie Andrews and Annie Malin. Ryan Tucker’s gnome car won for best theme and the overall best was Gabby Boschert’s pumpkin car.
Malin and the Mortar Board members believed the night went well.
“Both events were a total success. We ended up with 64 kids this year. We’re definitely going to recommend that next year’s Mortar Board takes it on,” Malin said.
Story by freshman Kath Teoli