On Friday, Oct. 15, Danilo Calobrizi had the opportunity to carve a pumpkin for the very first time during one of residence’s first in-person events since the pandemic began.
Caolbrizi, a first-year teachers of English as a second/foreign language student, arrived at Algonquin College from Brazil only three weeks ago.
“It’s amazing because in Brazil, we only get this in movies,” said Calobrizi. “This is something that like every child would dream about,” he added.
Calobrizi, like many of his fellow residents, is relieved that in-person events are beginning to return to the residence. The events give students like Calobrizi an opportunity to socialize and make friends also living in their new home-away-from-home.
Friday afternoon’s pumpkin carving contest was set up in the residence lobby next to 35th Street Market Café. The event allowed participants, solo or in pairs, to carve pumpkins in two sessions from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Halloween music filled the residence lobby as 25 participants attempted to win a variety of prizes including Halloween cookie houses, hot chocolate mixes and pumpkin pies.
Patrick Whyte, a first-year game development student, challenged himself by going for a less traditional design for his pumpkin carving.
“I thought of getting a cat with a moon background and some bats, it’s gonna be fun,” said Whyte.
Raivyn Halcro, residence community advisor, and Reegan Derikx, residence advisor, were a part of the team responsible for organizing and running the event. Halcro and Derikx both remain optimistic regarding having more in-person and hybrid-style events as opposed to online, while still following COVID-19 restrictions.
“We are slowly working our way into moving towards half online and half in-person,” said Halcro. “We have noticed a huge increase, over 50 per cent, more participants with the hybrid when compared to just virtual.”
Since students arrived at residence in September, the team has held virtual events including escape rooms, JackBox Games nights and speed friending.
“There’s not usually much participation on Zoom,” said Derikx. “People will join but they’ll keep their cameras off, they won’t really speak, they’ll take the materials and make the craft on their own, there’s not as much interaction.”
More in-person residence events are currently planned for the coming weeks, including movie nights, Halloween mocktails and make your own crafts. According to Halcro, the best way for residents to stay up to date with the status of in-person events is the events calendar and @ACResidence Instagram, where the winning pumpkins will also be announced.