Dressed in a safari hat and khaki cargo pants, with a stuffed cobra around his neck, the young zookeeper walked up to room 202.
“Trick or treat,” he said.
Kailey Berry and Alicia Benson, residents of Park Region, handed him a few pieces of candy, after which he thanked them and continued down the hall.
This year the Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating in the dorms continued on campus, as the residence halls opened their doors to faculty, staff and community families. All of the halls were open for visitors except Brown, the townhouses and the apartments.
Mikal Kenfield, the associate director of residence life, said the tradition has been going on as long as she has been working at Concordia and has only taken one year off: the year the swine flu broke out. With a one-year-old of her own, Kenfield said this is a great opportunity to bring kids trick-or-treating, because it is warm and dry; there is no need to wander around in the cold.
Kenfield said the event is coordinated by Interhall Council, made up of representatives from each hall. The members find out which dorms are interested in participating and then decide whether or not they will be open to visitors.
Within each dorm, the residents can choose to welcome the kids by taping a “trick-or-treaters welcome” sign to their door.
In Park Region, one of the most active dorms in the event, the girls on second floor were eagerly participating: waiting in the hallways for kids, pulling out lawn chairs, dressing up in their own costumes.
Kate Hammero, a resident, said her favorite part is seeing all of the kids’ costumes.
“They’re little cuties,” Hammero said.
Benson said it is the giving part that she likes the most.
As Berry and Benson waited for their next visitors, they debated the best candies and compared how things have changed since they were young trick-or-treaters.
“(Skittles) just aren’t the same as the original,” Berry said, ripping open the classic red wrapper of a Skittles fun-size package. She grieves the flavor switch from green lime to green apple.
“You really can’t taste the difference,” Benson said.
Out in the hall, two other residents, Amber Blondeau and Aryn Ladd, marched out of their room, handing out candy in their matching pumpkin costumes Blondeau had found in her basement.
The girls’ Halloween spirits filled the hallway as kids went from door to door.
“College students get so excited when they see kids,” Kenfield said. “They just don’t see kids around campus.”
The smiles on the residents’ faces did not fade even as the little zookeeper trotted off the floor.
Jordan Elton ’14 is majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in Spanish. She is from Apple Valley, Minn. In addition to writing for the Concordian, Jordan is involved in Student Government Association, Habitat for Humanity and Campus Ministry Commission.