Read between the lines of Halloween themes
Michelle Shnayder – Copy Editor
Halloween can often be represented by spooky images of ghosts, goblins, vampires, werewolves, and other creepy creatures. The holiday is also a time of year many students attend parties.
On the other hand, some students said they are choosing to abstain from on-campus Halloween festivities all together. Three students said, for various reasons, they are approaching the upcoming holiday with caution, abstaining from the celebration in whole.
Lori Dietz, a freshman, exercise science major, said Halloween makes her feel vulnerable in light of recent events involving sexual assaults on college campuses.
“I think Halloween night and the weekends surrounding it are more of a safety concern for women than just average nights,”said Dietz, “especially now with all the anger and hate in the news.”
Dietz said the copious amount of alcohol often available at Halloween parties, and the anonymity of the costumes makes Halloween night especially anxiety provoking.
“I wouldn’t say Halloween is always dangerous, but it’s different than other nights because of a mix of factors, “said Dietz. “Men see women dressing provocatively, and everyone is drinking a lot, and people are all in costume.”
Dietz said that she chooses to abstain from celebrating Halloween on campus, because she misses the childhood innocence of the holiday, and she does not enjoy the way Halloween is celebrated among some of her peers.
“I don’t celebrate Halloween on campus, because it isn’t fun for me,” said Dietz. “I wish it was still more like when we were kids, and we were running around trying to get candy, not wasted.”
Dietz said, it is difficult, at her age, to enjoy the holiday. She is too old to go door-to-door for candy, but she does not want to party.
“Most people our age, college kids, are kind of stuck,” said Dietz. “We are looked down on for trick or treating and isolated for not partying.”
Kelly Redmond, a freshman, biology major, said she dreads the process of getting ready, and is not used to the party lifestyle, so she chooses to abstain from celebrating Halloween.
“I have never really dressed up for Halloween, because it’s something I generally don’t want to do,” said Redmond. “I don’t really party often, and I don’t plan spending all day getting ready and buying a costume just to go to one party.”
Redmond said that, instead of staying on campus and searching for a party, she goes home and gives out candy to kids in her neighborhood.
“I usually just go home, sit with my dog, and give out the candy for my house,” said Redmond. “Since I never really want to dress up, and I live fairly close by and love candy, that works out well.”
Ivan Orson-Kelly, a philosophy major, said Halloween in the United States is celebrated more veraciously than in his hometown of Liverpool, England.
“American Halloween is definitely more grandiose in terms of decorations and the intensity of the costumes,” said Orson-Kelley. “People put a lot of effort into dressing provocatively and extravagantly for Halloween here.”
Orson-Kelly said that this grandiosity has made him anxious, and he thinks Halloween may be just another excuse for under-aged binge drinking in the United States.
“Halloween definitely seems like a time when people get too drunk,” said Orson-Kelley. “It seems like some people use the holiday as an excuse to party, and super drunk people always give me anxiety.”
Orson-Kelly said, along with the overconsumption of alcohol, global commercialization of the holiday has ruined his perception of it.
“I’m anxious about this culture spreading to England for sure, because Halloween in England is becoming almost as commercialized,” said Orson- Kelley
Orson-Kelly said that he will not be adhering to the expectations of Halloween in America, and he will not be putting aside his values to dress up and go out at Southern.
“Why put aside my values and put my money into a Halloween costume?” Orson Kelly said. “I’m massively against commercializing Halloween, and the whole of idea of centering it around binge drinking makes me uncomfortable.”
Photo Credit: Michelle Shnayder