WILL VERDEUR ’18
Halloween on Vernon brings together community service, Greek life, cultural houses and other Trinity organizations that do not necessarily interact with each other on a regular basis. Through celebrating a beloved holiday, it also helps relieve the stresses and demands of a busy academic schedule.
Halloween on Vernon does all this while working toward the goal of incorporating the Trinity community with Hartford.
Hosted by the Annual Community Event Staff (ACES), Halloween on Vernon is an event in which local Hartford kids who might not otherwise have a safe place to go trick-or-treating come to Vernon to do so.
Georgie Wynn ’16, the president of ACES, explained the details of this tradition. This year the event is taking place from 1-4pm on Sunday, Oct. 25. Greek and cultural organizations that have houses on Vernon are encouraged to participate, and to do so creatively. The Hall is making a haunted house, the Asian American Student Association, AASA has offered to contribute candy sushi, and Psi Upsilon is pioneering the newly invented “candy-pong.” Campus organizations that do not have houses on Vernon have the option to set up activity tables nearby in order to participate, and in fact are encouraged to do so. Four to five hundred trick-or-treaters are expected to attend the event, and all members of the Trinity community are welcome to volunteer.
Wynn elaborated that what she most looked forward to about the event was “actually seeing the people that I’m helping. Often community service events at Trinity are very impersonal, and focus more on donations. Halloween on Vernon gives you the chance to really interact with people.” Wynn added that she was excited “to see the entire Trinity community come together—community service, Greek life, [and] lots of separate groups”.
ACES tries to reach out to as many people in the area as possible, putting up fliers in both English and Spanish all over Hartford. The event’s advertising is done in a way that makes information about it abundantly clear, providing contacts to whom anyone can pose questions and concerns.
One difficult part of organizing the event, Wynn said, is reminding chaperones to come—according to her, people tend to forget that they volunteered, since many Trinity students are so concerned with classes, jobs and other activites. Despite this, they are willing to give up their time to help others, something that is often not the first thing on everyone’s mind.
Although there is a fairly apparent division between Trinity and the surrounding Hartford community, Halloween on Vernon is a good step toward the long-term goal of integrating the two. Wynn explained that Halloween on Vernon is a mark of progress, as it sends welcoming message by actively inviting people into the campus. Trinity is an open campus and the act of invitation functions encourages engagement with the community. Mostly, however, she said, reaching out to the children is a good way to make the communities more cohesive.