Fall rolls into the University of Northern Colorado campus as the weather becomes cooler and the leaves on the trees start to change colors. Other than the change of seasons, “Bear-o-ween” was right around the corner and several houses and stores decorated to celebrate the spooky season. Unfortunately, the pandemic has halted several events this year and Halloween was projected to be canceled to prevent more COVID -19 cases.
UNC has been facing challenges with the pandemic but students still participated in Bear-o-ween festivities on campus. On Oct. 26, Dean of Students Colleen Sonnentag sent out an email to students providing important information about partaking in the spooky festivities on campus. Sonnentag emphasized students need to wear a non-costume mask at all times, social distance while attending parties, limit large gatherings and follow all COVID-19 policies.
Sonnentag also encouraged students to report behaviors that can harm people from our community. When a student files a report about bad behavior, the Dean of Students Office will be notified and will continue to address the issue through the student conduct process which helps them to decide what the outcome will be for the students who break the conduct rules.
“I know and understand that 2020 has presented us with unforeseen challenges and uncertainty,” Sonnentag wrote in an email. “Our network of support services on campus continues to evolve to better meet your needs this academic year. Be safe (and thoughtful) this Halloween, help stop the spread of COVID, and take care of each other out there!”
UNC hosted several virtual events to celebrate the Halloween season. These events included a Virtual Pumpkin Carving Contest and Zombie Zumba.
UNC’s Virtual Pumpkin Carving Contest allowed groups with less than six participants to carve a pumpkin and upload a picture and submit it to the UNC Undergrad Community.
“What better way to get in the Halloween spirit than decorating and carving your very own pumpkin,” said Keeley Webber, a fifth year student at UNC. “Grab your roommates or a friend and find out who can carve the best creation. This event allows you to celebrate while practicing social distancing in groups less than six, while wearing a mask!”
The virtual Zombie Zumba was hosted by the Campus Recreation Center and the University Program Council on Oct. 29. The event encouraged costumes and masks.
UNC also suggested students host virtual watch parties via Netflix and Hulu to watch Halloween movies with others from a safe distance.
“Netflix and Hulu have uploaded Halloween related TV shows and movies just in time to get your spook on,” Webber said.