Pumpkins show student creativity

Jacob Waring Reporter 

Justin Lacarus picked out a pumpkin, grabbed some supplies and doused his pumpkin with spookiness at the Commuter Connection’s pumpkin decorating fall celebration. 

Students gathered in the Adanti Student Center on Oct. 8, Lacarus included, and created their own designs with paint and pumkins. 

“The majority are the fall colors symbolizing the pumpkin,” said Lacarus, describing his pumpkin. “A little of glitter for the spookiness like red for blood, a little bit of silver for spider cobwebs.” 

Lacarus was not the only commuter who plastered chills and thrills on pumpkins as they connected with other commuters, all festively enjoying the Halloween mood. Paint of nearly every color, brushes of all shapes and sizes and other fun craft materials were provided to maximize the creativity and artfulness. 

Behind the scenes was Jess Searles, from the Commuter Commission, who helped plan commuter connection week and brought the art supplies and the pumpkins for the pumpkin painting event. The reason for such an event, she said, is simply the seasonal theme, now that autumn has arrived. 

“We figured: try to keep it the theme of fall, you know, Halloween,” said Searles. “It’s a good opportunity to do something with your hands, and it’s social as you get to interact with other commuter students while they’re on campus.” 

Searles said the pumpkins came from Stop and Shop, and that she could only find 75 of them to use for painting. Because of the limited number, Searles said, not everyone could have had an opportunity, and it was conducted on a first come, first serve basis. She said the commission chose the smaller variety of pumpkins, because of the ease of transportation. Not everyone has the wherewithal to carry around a full-sized pumpkin throughout the school day. 

This year began the Commuter Connection Week tradition, so this is the first time that the Commuter Commission has held such an event. 

Students got creative with the artistry on their pumpkins. Many had an assortment of colors, expressions and had embedded their Halloween spirit. Dora Phurn, a physical education major, painted black eyes with a red iris. The eyes were reminiscent of stereotypical glowing eyes seen from the woods. 

Errah Rabano, a nursing major, decorated her pumpkin to look frightening, despite sporting a sunflower for a top while its tongue is out. 

Some were a whirlwind of color and expression. For example, Brisita Crews, a biology major, decorated her pumpkin so each ridge showcased a specific emotion, represented with vibrant color. 

“I wanted something fun and colorful and then I kept wanting to add more because I felt like it was too plain,” said Crews. “I just continued adding things and I decided each smiley face should [be] different.” 

Searles said the reason they went with painting pumpkins, instead of carving them is so students would be able to enjoy their artsy creations on their desks, bedrooms or workplace stations, without worrying about rot. 

At each of the 20 commuter-related events throughout the week, students could get a card to be punched for each event attendance. Six card punches, and they were eligible to enter a raffle for a $250 gas gift card. 

Nicole Celinski, a senior, anthropology major, said she accomplished a color theme, inspired by the sunflower she chose. Celinski said she plans to place the finished creation on her desk in her cubicle, to see it at work. 

“I just like the yellow of the sunflower,” said Celinski, “so I went with the yellow on the pumpkin as well.”

Photo Credit: Jacob Waring

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