Hocus Pocus in the residence halls

The RHA is hosting events to celebrate Halloween this season

Jenna Erickson

More stories from Jenna Erickson

Eau Claire eats
April 2, 2020

Photo by Jenna Erickson

Local families will be invited in to many of the UW-Eau Claire residence halls for trick-or-treating on October 31.

The Residence Hall Association is the main organizer of several Halloween events open to both students and the Eau Claire community.

Bobby Valiska, a second-year actuarial science student and the Activities and Programs Committee Chair for the RHA, said the organization hosts fun events in order to help students who live in the residence halls build community on campus.

This year, Valiska co-hosted “A Nightmare on Garfield Ave” with the Inclusive Experiences Committee rom 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Oct. 28.

“A Nightmare on Garfield Ave. is an event where there will be many Halloween-based games and activities to play,” Valiska said. “We will also have cookies to decorate and eat, as well as pumpkin puppy chow, hot chocolate and apple cider.”

Valiska’s committee will also be going around to judge the Halloween Hall Decorating Contest on Friday, Nov. 1 at 5:00 p.m.

“The Halloween Hall Decorating Contest is an All Hall Brawl event where all halls have the opportunity to decorate their lobby in order to try and win more points for All Hall Brawl,” Valiska said.

He said Halloween is always a great time for the RHA.

“The Halloween hall decorating contest is the event that I am looking forward to the most because I get to see the creative ideas of all of the halls,” Valiska said.

There are a lot of events being held on top of just these, said Jamie Siseman, the RHA president.

“Sutherland is having a haunted house on the 31st and the 1st of November,” said Siseman.

Some residence halls are even having their own Halloween parties, including Putnam Hall and Katherine Thomas Hall, she said.

Residence halls are also offering trick-or-treating for children in the area from 5-7 p.m on Oct. 31, according to the UW-Eau Claire website.

Chancellors, Oak Ridge, Governors, Murray and The Suites residence halls will be open for door-to-door trick-or-treating and games will be played in the Governors Hall lobby, according to the UW-Eau Claire website.

Linda Pratt, the Oak Ridge Hall Director, said the campus has offered trick-or-treating in the halls for about 25 or 30 years now.

“I think parents especially appreciate not having to be out in bad weather,” Pratt said. “And now, some of them are coming through with their kids after either having come here themselves as children or experiencing this when they were students.”

Lobby-only trick-or-treating will be offered in Aspenson-Mogensen, Bridgman, Horan, Karlgaard Towers, Katherine Thomas, Putnam and Sutherland residence halls. Trick-or-treating will also be offered in the lower level of Bridgman Hall, according to the UW-Eau Claire website.

“It’s a safe, warm place to trick-or-treat and is very popular, especially when the weather is cold or rainy or snowy,” Pratt said.

She said the community children love coming in to see where the college students live and often the decorations are really fun for them to see as they change from year to year.

Pratt also said students in the residence halls generally love having the kids come through.

“For some of them, it’s the first time they’re missing this holiday at home or seeing their siblings going out trick-or-treating,” Pratt said. “So they really appreciate having some kids and families around.”

Pratt said this has been a long-standing tradition that seems to benefit both UW-Eau Claire students and the community.

Erickson can be reached at [email protected].