By Jilleen Barrett, Managing/Features editor
Kappa Delta Pi brought a wave of miniature Disney princesses, Buzz Lightyears, astronauts and more to Manhattan College’s campus to celebrate “MC Halloween,” an event held by the education honor society for local children to celebrate the holiday.
This year, KDP co-president Catherine Cusack feels the event is finally able to function the way it did back in 2019. Because of the pandemic, KDP was unable to plan MC Halloween under normal circumstances — if at all — the past few years. Cusack said she felt a bit unsure about what she was taking on. However, she felt everyone in KDP pulled through to contribute to the event.
“We kind of didn’t know what we were expecting, so it was kind of all hands on deck,” Cusack said.
Some things have changed with the event over the years — including the name. KDP vice president Jenna Leonard said the event used to be called “Safe Halloween,” but that it has since been changed.
“It’s such a staple Manhattan College event, so we want to make sure that Manhattan College got its due for being a part of the title,” Leonard said. “But also one of the things that I’ve been hearing is that it’s a tough title, ‘Safe Halloween’ instead of ‘MC Halloween’ because then it gives off kind of the message that Halloween in the Bronx isn’t safe … it can be offensive to some people and that’s the last thing that we want to be associated with. The event is supposed to be a fun event.”
Parents felt it was fun, and they confirmed that with Cusack directly.
“They were so thrilled that their kids had a blast,” Cusack said. “There was actually a post in ‘Riverdale Moms and Dads’ [Facebook group] … And I spoke to one mom in particular and she said ‘You know, there’s a lot of people here but in the past, it’s been so unbelievably crowded that you couldn’t even get around, so this was perfect’.”
Over 40 clubs contributed to providing games and activities for the estimated 200 kids in attendance. Some were spookier than others — like the haunted ghost maze created by Beta Alpha Psi, the honor society for accounting, finance and information systems.
“I thought [Beta Alpha Psi’s] room looked fabulous,” Cusack said “That was a big hit. All the kids loved it.”
Clare Farrelly, the president of the group, has been at the college as a student since 2018. However, she has attended the event on and off since 2011, when her mom Aileen Farrelly, assistant dean of O’Malley school of business, began working at the school of business and took her and her siblings almost every year.
Farrelly recalled what the last MC Halloween — back when most people were still referring to it as Safe Halloween — looked like.
“In 2019, Safe Halloween was something every single club on campus participated in and it felt like because a lot of [current] students are unsure of what the event actually is, they did not lean into the day as fully as we all used to,” Farrelly wrote to The Quadrangle. “However, I think that after witnessing the event students now know the excitement and what to expect going forward.”
Even though current Manhattan students might need some time to warm up to the event, Cusack said everyone involved — especially the Cross Country/Track & Field teams — helped the kids really enjoy the event. Leonard said several parents of the children who attended in the past told her they remembered it fondly and are excited it’s back.
“We just kept hearing people say, ‘Thank you for having this again, we’ve missed it so much, and we’re so happy to be here’,” Leonard said.