By: Kayla Wright

And the winner is: “Boo” yah!

“Boo” yah, a group of four design studies students, won bragging rights as well as $100 in cash on Oct. 31 for the Students’ Affairs and Orientations annual Pumpkin Carving Contest.

The contest was a free event held in the Student Commons that encouraged students to sign up in groups with a maximum of four members. The grand prize went to the team with the best-carved pumpkin of the day.

Sophia Bouris, the coordinator of the event and SAO officer, said the contest was to encourage students “to get into the spirit of Halloween.” It gave students the chance to take a break from their studies and take part in the festivities by carving pumpkins, getting messy and listening to some spooky tunes. Also, in the spirit of Halloween, organizers and judges for the event were handing out treats to contestants and onlookers.

During previous years’ carving contests, contestants signed up on the spot on the same day as the event. However this year teams were permitted to sign up beforehand on the SAO website.

Before the contest started on Halloween this year there were six teams that had registered early and four pumpkins left for last minute entries. By the time the carving began at noon, every pumpkin was taken.

Each team had one hour to complete their pumpkin. A carving knife, a spoon and a marker were the only tools permitted and props were not allowed.

The pumpkins were judged on three things: originality, attention to detail and quality and overall creativity.

Among the groups that signed up Marina Milette, a first-year professional writing student was her own team. Dressed for the occasion in a witch costume, Milette had three completely different ideas for her pumpkin: a skull, a cat and starry night. By the end of the contest she had created a scary graveyard scene complete with tombstones and body parts.

Team Charlie & Friends, a group of four paramedic students, didn’t have an idea going into the contest either – it was up to Jeff Sobil to come up with the idea. The end result was a vomiting pumpkin head, using the insides they’d scooped out before carving as the guts.

Andy Slaughter, a general arts and science media communications student decided to turn his pumpkin into Ralph – a character from the animation comedy movie Wreck-it Ralph, which came out Nov. 2.

The winners of the Pumpkin Carving Contest, “Boo” yah!, got their image idea off the Internet: a bat carved within a crescent-moon. Team leader, Katie Mackenzie, ran the show while her teammate Megan Gaw did most of the carving. The four-member group will be splitting the $100 prize among the four of them, which gives each member a grand total of $25.