NSU has truly done a good job keeping up the holiday spirit on campus, especially during Halloween. With the haunted house in Commons Residence Hall, there is no shortage of fun and spooky events. However, there is one Halloween event that crosses the line. Having people dress up as clowns, put on crazy makeup, walk on stilts and come running up to you in the UC is not okay.
As with all scary things, there should be an option to either put yourself in the situation or avoid it. I think the Commons haunted house is the perfect example of that. You can participate if you choose, but you can stay away if you don’t like to be scared. But in this case, you can’t necessarily avoid the UC. If you live on campus and you want to eat dinner, you will have to go to the UC. If you’re walking back to the residence halls or to the commuter lot by the Student Affairs Building, you would probably walk through the UC too. The UC is always busy no matter what time of day it is and it’s probably on everyone’s route to and from class. It isn’t easily avoidable.
For some people, including myself, it’s not fun or exciting to have to walk by people dressed up in terrifying costumes just to get a sandwich from Subway. It gets even worse when they approach you or follow you outside. Honestly, it makes me feel trapped, panicked and unsafe. When I really have to think about if I want to eat dinner for the night or skip out so I don’t have to be put in that position, it’s a problem. You would never force somebody afraid of heights to go skydiving, so I don’t think it’s appropriate to put students in the same type of situation.
Another flaw I see in the event is that there isn’t really a good way to tell the people dressed up to leave you alone. The only way you can tell them “no” is when they’re already coming up to you, and by then it’s kind of too late. If there was some sort of signal or red card that you could carry around that let the people know to stay away, maybe people would feel more at ease. That way, the people who love Halloween and want to be scared can still have fun, but those who aren’t into scary things can go about their business in peace.
I feel like I’m not the only one who avoids the UC like the plague when I know this is going on. I’m not saying to completely get rid of it, just revamp it to make it more student friendly. As long as students have a choice to participate or skip out, it’s fine by me. I just never want to have to be in an uncomfortable position like that on my own college campus.