Tayla Blakey shows off her completed spooky pumpkin. Photo credit: Sophia Adams

Minutes after 1 p.m. on Oct. 31, the Student Commons resembled nothing of its usual state. Flooded with laughter, music and the sounds of carving utensils hitting the table, it was a picture of joy.

Students and faculty worked hard to spread Halloween spirit in every direction. A large blow-up Mr. Potato Head had heads turning from each connecting hallway. People wore Wicked Witch of the West costumes personalized with webs and spiders.

There were enough pumpkins to fill a pumpkin patch and students in costumes gathered to enjoy the Halloween festivities, starting with The Great Pumpkin Party.

Jenny Gorman, a veterinary technician student who came to the event dressed up in a blue Supergirl costume with a red cape and “S” logo, said, “I am here to enjoy the Halloween spirit and have fun with a classmate.”

Gorman began carving out the “brains” of a pumpkin: a slow but effective carving technique creating a life-like three-dimensional look. It was skill nobody else around the table had yet to attempt.

Jenny Gorman, after much thought and consideration, is making some of the first cuts into her pumpkin.
Jenny Gorman, after much thought and consideration, makes the first cuts into her pumpkin. Photo credit: Sophia Adams

Undergoing long periods of silence and longer periods of steady concentration, Gorman and a peer, Talya Blakey, a drawing foundations for animation and illustration student who was dressed up as Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck it Ralph, worked at the table to create their perfect pumpkin masterpieces.

Gorman, with a skillful hand, focused mainly on the intricate designs. Blakey took a more simplistic but scary approach, creating a pumpkin with a jagged smile and spooky oval eyes.

The pumpkin carving table, which fit approximately 15 people at a time, almost never had a vacancy. And if it did, it lasted a matter of seconds before the next student came to show off their pumpkin carving skills.

Amanda Logan, the events programmer at the Students’ Association, was enthusiastic to offer students an opportunity to participate in a classic Halloween tradition.

Offering the event free of charge, the Students’ Association expected approximately 1,000 students to attend. Some students who were interested in the event but hesitated were convinced to participate when they learned it was free.

“We want to provide students with a fun, interactive Halloween event. A great opportunity to partake in classic Halloween traditions such as pumpkin carving,” Logan said.

The Student Commons radiated with energy that went far beyond stressed-out students and freshly made coffee. From start to finish, the building glowed with pumpkins, friendly competition and lots of fun that enhanced the Halloween spirit.