by Nicole Rodriguez, Asst. Production Editor
Every fall, Manhattan College’s education honor society, Kappa Delta Pi, hosts an annual Halloween event turning the college’s campus into a maze of trick-or-treat delight for local children to enjoy and celebrate. The event, previously known as Safe Halloween, is now called MC Halloween and will return this year in a virtual format on Oct. 30.
Co-president of KDP Patricia Wright highlighted the changes that were made to this year’s event from its new name to its virtual format.
“We voted on the new name of MC Halloween [and] we thought this would be a great opportunity to transform the title into something more fun and inclusive towards our surrounding community,” Wright said. “We felt the last name could be insulting to our surrounding community at MC and we wanted to be respectful towards the community. Also, the title promotes where the event is usually located, MC. This year has brought many changes to our lives, and of course during the pandemic we were in need of a new virtual structure for our event. So, what better time to change things up and work to improve KDP’s social awareness in altering the title.”
Kelsey Kovacs, KDP’s vice president of campus and community events, and Kelsey Reynolds, campus and community events co-chair, were tasked with creating the virtual version of the event. The campus and community events team collaborated with Kimberly Woodruff, the college’s director of instructional design, in order to make the virtual event as interactive, accessible and fun for the children as possible.
“Our campus and community events team has collaborated with the director of instructional design, Kimberly Woodruff, to develop our very own Google website that families will be able to visit,” Kovacs said. “Here, visitors will be able to find resources for students of all grades, ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade, parent resources, navigating Halloween amidst COVID-19 resources, book recommendations for students, fun padlet galleries as well as all of the information and links needed for MC Halloween. Then, we have created a ThingLink for our MC Halloween event. This is an interactive page that students can maneuver through by clicking on different buttons that bring them to a diverse bunch of activities…all submitted by student clubs and organizations here at MC.”
Given the event’s virtual format this year, its planning process differed compared to years prior with preparations starting back in the summer. KDP will be accepting any help they can receive for organizing the event.
“Of course it needs to be much different this year, so this required getting in contact with technology experts,” Reynolds said. “This planning began over the summertime [and] the name transformation decision also took place over the summer. This event really requires a solid couple of months of organizing and planning. After beginning to structure our website and ThingLink, we needed to contact as many clubs and organizations at MC as possible to see who was willing to be involved this year and send us virtual activities for the kids. Putting all of these activities into our virtual format has taken a lot of time and effort from our whole team working on MC Halloween.”
Although MC Halloween will be held virtually this year, KDP anticipates their event to be just as fun and full of Halloween spirit as their previous in-person events, with the help of the college’s various clubs and organizations.
“Many clubs and organizations are involved in MC Halloween this year,” Kovacs said. “We tried to make it as similar to the in-person experience as we could. Instead of clubs hosting rooms, we asked them to submit activities for the students to enjoy. We have activity ideas from 15 clubs so far, and are open to receiving more activities from other clubs or students. Our KDP members have also submitted many creative MC Halloween activities this year. Everyone has been so willing to help during this exceptional time, and we are so grateful for that, this event would not have been possible without all of the amazing clubs on campus and our awesome KDP members.”
There are many activities in store for MC Halloween, including some surprises. Children of varying ages and grade levels will be able to participate in these activities from home at their own pace after the MC Halloween link is made available. There are two different pages on the site — one catered toward ages three to 10, and the other for ages 11 to 14.
The KDP Community website–featuring other resources and activities–will be up on Friday, Oct. 23, while the MC Halloween ThingLink will be made available on Friday, Oct. 30.