Allison Jarboe, Arts Editor
As a beloved yearly tradition, the residents of Kerr decorate their halls, dress in costume and provide candy while students, children, and other community members and families traverse each themed hallway. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, October 27, the students and staff living in Kerr Residence Hall hosted their annual community-wide event, “Trick Kerr Treat.”
Emily Wall, freshman communications major and resident of Kerr, spoke about the diversity and creativeness represented in each hall.
“Under the Sea, Snowy Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, and Circus are a few of the themes that halls were decorated as,” Wall said. “Every hall got so creative. It was awesome to see the team work.”
A fundamental part of Trick Kerr Treat is its extensive student involvement in both the event participation and the preparation beforehand. Wall described how she played her own part in the decorating process with her hall mates, mentioning the impact it made on the hall’s overall collaboration and unity.
“I helped put foil on the walls on Wednesday night until around midnight,” Wall said.
“It was so fun! We all pitched in and helped together. It was such a blast, and helped us get to know each other better,” she said.
One unique element of the night is its underlying desire to serve the community through a fun, inviting atmosphere cultivated by OBU students. Rather than plan an exclusive event tailored towards an audience of college students, the OBU community spent its Halloween season preparing and getting ready for a chance to cater to a family-centered public.
“I think it brought people together,” Wall said. “It allowed for the area of Shawnee to have a fun night for kids and families. It’s awesome to promote family events like this.”
Indeed, family nights like Trick Kerr Treat serve a unifying purpose, but their promotion cannot exist without intensive preparation.
Dayla Rowland, former OBU student and current Resident Director of Kerr, gave some enlightenment into the organizational process leading up to Trick Kerr Treat.
“Each RA spent time choosing a theme for their hall,” Rowland said. “They then spent time enlisting their halls to come up with ideas and manpower to decorate the halls.” Rowland continued, addressing the work and decorations items involved. “The candy for this event was provided by the residents of Kerr and all the decorations were done by each individual hall.”
Rowland also spoke on the purpose and impact of the event.
“Trick Kerr Treat is a longtime tradition at OBU,” she began. “It is an opportunity for the residence of Kerr to give back to the faculty and staff. All OBU employees are invited amd encouraged to bring their families to this event. It is a fun family environment for all.”
Rowland also shared some of her favorite elements that encompass the event.
“I love the creativity and investment that is represented in every hall,” she said. “The residents work so hard to do their best to make this an impressive event! I love seeing that come out in each hall theme.”
In addition, she described her specific involvement as the resident director.
“As the Resident Director, I am responsible for the event as a whole,” Rowland said. “I promoted this event, encouraged my RAs and worked behind the scenes to make sure the event was ready to go! In addition to the RAs of Kerr, Assistant Resident Director, Mikayla Harrison and the ResLife staff of Howard and E Dev put a lot of work into this event. It is an honor to give back to our OBU community in this way.”
Mikayla Harrison, senior family science major and the Assistant Resident Director of Kerr, gave some insight into the RA’s responsibilities in the event.
“Each Resident Assistant and hall comes up with a theme for what their hall will be,” Harrison said. “They will have different meetings thinking and planning what they desire their hall to look like and then ultimately begin working together as a hall decorating. These different activities help Kerr ladies become involved within their community and within the dorm. They also get to share in working together for a great purpose in serving others.”
Harrison spoke about the role of an RA in promoting involvement in Trick Kerr Treat.
“The Resident Assistant on each hall informs their ladies about this event,” she said. “She teaches them what an amazing opportunity this event is to serve our faculty and staff through inviting them into our building/ home to engage in fun activities ultimately encouraging the importance of serving others and collectively engaging in community.”
Harrison mentioned the engaging atmosphere that draws in students, professors, and children alike.
“Students are able to see their professors walking through their building with their families,” Harrison commented. “And this is really neat because you are able to see them outside the regular context of the classroom.”
Trick Kerr Treat ultimately engages a broad community, through its service and uplifting environment.
“This event is special for the faculty and staff because their students are able to serve them,” Harrison voiced. “They make this a very special and enjoyable time for their families. Other students within the community of OBU really enjoy coming and seeing their fellow classmates and friends and all the hard work that was done to make this an unforgettable event.”