We were so sorry to read about your lack of enthusiasm regarding Halloween spirit on campus and in general. As two individuals who have always loved Halloween, we do make sure to take a minute to stop and appreciate some of the amazing costumes that are on display year after year despite everyone’s overwhelming schedule.
However, much more important than our opinion as individuals is our opinion as members and co-ordinators of the Federation of Students Food Bank, a student-run service on campus that provides food 24/7/365 for students in need on campus. On October 31 every year, the Food Bank holds our annual Trick-or-Eat event. Student participants (yes indeed, they are university students!) dress up in costume and go door-to-door in the neighbourhoods surrounding our campus asking for non-perishable food items and hygiene items to help refill our shelves and those of the Region of Waterloo Food Bank. They do this generally instead of asking for candy. Oh and hey, guess what? They often do get candy as well, as folks in the community appreciate their efforts that night!
The materials collected by these fantastic students is what helps keep our shelves stocked with food and other things that students who are running low on money might need. As you have mentioned, it is unthinkable that students would have time in their busy academic schedules to create and wear costumes — let alone have a full-time job! Not all students are fortunate enough to be able to focus solely on academics without consideration for financial and physical well-being. For those that do struggle, the Feds Food Bank is here to provide a service that ensures they never have to go hungry.
In addition to doing good on our campus, these oft caped-crusaders who don’t at all “feel ridiculous wearing a costume” also give back to the entire region by supporting the regional Food Bank with the food that we cannot fit in our storage. It is thanks to their love and enthusiasm for Halloween, hard work, and willingness to possibly be judged by individuals who don’t appreciate Halloween that we are able to ensure that individuals attending the University of Waterloo and others living throughout the region have resources to keep from going hungry.
School spirit and pride on our campus are things that we as a service along with many others feel are an important growing aspect of university life. Getting involved and finding out more about the ways you as a student can give back and increase spirit is something we hope you will consider in the future. We invite you and everyone else to consider Halloween as an opportunity not only to engage in a bit of friendly and spooky fun that allows a well-deserved short break from studies, but an opportunity to connect with your campus and greater community area for a good cause.
Only 12 more months until we get to do it all over again! See you there? Regards,
Leila Dzinic and Chelsea Hillier
Feds Food Bank co-ordinators