Each year, there is a myriad of trick-or-treating events on campus surrounding Halloween. This year, the Traverse Square After-school program—more commonly referred to as “The Center”—and the residents of Junior Village will have an event of their own. For their weekly Friday activity, local students from the Traverse Square Apartments, located on the block between Church Street and Williams Street, and their student mentors will go trick-or-treating throughout LoRise and the first two floors of HiRise on Oct. 30.
The Traverse Square After-school program pairs University students with local children to work on homework assignments and spend time together on weekday afternoons. Generally, students commit to two hours per day, two days per week with the children. The tutoring program runs from Monday through Thursday, with Fridays reserved for special activities like this week’s trick-or-treating event.
Community Advisor (CA) and former Traverse Square volunteer Jaya Sahihi ’17 played a key role in coordinating the event between her residents and The Center. She seized the opportunity to become involved again after hearing from the program’s head coordinators about a possible collaboration with Junior Village.
“I think it’s a great program and I know that they do Friday activities, and I knew from tutoring that they normally have a Halloween activity, so I though that maybe we could help out,” Sahihi said. “I know that there’s very little communication a lot of the time between the people that live there and the people that live in Hi- and LoRise, and we’re so close. So, we got in contact with [The Center], and they were really into it.”
In order to participate, students who live in any of the areas in which the event will occur simply need to indicate their interest to one of the CAs, who will take care of the rest of the preparations.
“The CAs will go buy candy, depending on how many people are interested, and whoever says yes will hand the candy out to them beforehand, and then will give the tutors a list of who signed up,” Sahihi said. “We’re doing LoRise and the first and second floors of HiRise, because we don’t want them going up and down the elevator. Hopefully we’ll get a lot of interest—I’m hoping it’s at a time that everyone can do. From 4 to 5 on a Friday. That’s not that bad.”
Ilana Ladis ’17, who is a resident of LoRise, is looking forward to celebrating with the community.
“I’m so excited to hand out candy to kids and tutors in the Traverse Square program on Friday,” said Ladis. “I’ve always loved everything about Halloween, and this will be an awesome way to start my Halloweekend while also making kids happy.”
CA Ali Felman feels that the trick-or-treating event is a excellent way to foster a greater sense of community between the two adjacent residences. Felman coordinates the University’s Individual Tutoring Program which provides free, one-on-one academic support for K-12 students in Middletown.
“I am really excited to have this event,” Felman wrote in an email to The Argus. “I’ve always been a huge advocate of reaching out to the community and sharing our campus space with others who live in Middletown. I run a tutoring program that works to do just that! It’s really easy to get caught up in Wesleyan culture and forget that we share this incredible town with families and children. I’m glad we’re using our resources and leverage from ResLife to promote this kind of relationship.”
Sahihi concurred, adding that HiRise and LoRise residences can still choose to participate by reaching out to their CAs any time prior to the start of the event.
“It’s not too late [to sign up],” Sahihi said. “We’ll have so much extra candy. [University students] get to keep the candy, whatever doesn’t get taken by the kids. The kids are very cute; they will be in costumes. Living in Hi- and LoRise, you hear these kids all the time; you’re very aware of their presence. So I think it’s a cool way to actually meet them.”