“Late Night at the Union” brings Halloweekend to campus

On Friday, Oct. 30 from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., community members and students alike gathered at the Memorial Union to make the most of Halloween through games, movies and dancing at “Late Night at the Union.”

Jeffrey Klemm, student activities and event specialist for Campus Activities and Student Engagement (CASE) said Halloween was a big event on campus in the past and they wanted to revive it with a variety of activities.

To prepare for the event, CASE contacted as many departments as possible to make sure everyone had the opportunity to be involved.

“We knew we wanted to reach out to all of student life,” Klemm said. “We talked to Residence Life, the Student Wellness Center, the Commuter Group  and student organizations to make it as much as possible a joint effort.”

The goal of the event was to reach out to all types students, including commuters, Klemm said.

“From 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. we had kids activities and made it family oriented because we wanted to include the community,” he continued.

In the beginning of the night there was pumpkin painting, a craft room put on by Residence Life and coloring.

Halloween themed movies like “Hocus Pocus” and “Hotel Transylvania” played in the Bangor Room, and the North Pod hosted a kid’s costume contest as well as a pinata for kids to hit.

“It was packed. There were so many families and the staff that volunteered loved it. Many staff families got to come to the event,” Brittany Smith, also a student activities and event specialist for CASE, said.

Music played throughout the night for those most interested in dancing.

For food, people could make their own whoopie pies, munch on some candy or have a caramel apple. Later in the night, hot appetizer foods were brought out. UMaine Dining Services catered the event.

Smith said they reached out to the community but did not expect to see so many families.

“We get to provide a family atmosphere for everyone to enjoy,” Smith said.

As the night continued the activities were changed to better suit college students with scarier Halloween movies and a costume fashion show.

“On campus we want people to feel like there are things to do,” Smith said. “When we bring them something to do it gets students involved, brings people together, and creates community connections.”

Because the community got to see what happens on campus it creates a positive impact on everyone, Klemm said.

“Usually when people think of college campuses they have negative thoughts. With the Halloween party the community gets to see how friendly we are. All the events we put on can show that everyone is welcome,” Klemm said.

Klemm also said one of his favorite parts about the event was not really knowing what was going to happen.

“A kid came up to us and was amazed by our minion costumes. The kids had so much fun.” Klemm said.

Smith was glad to help students by giving them something fun to be apart of instead of having nothing to do on a Friday night.

“We work at a university to see students enjoying themselves,” Smith said.

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