Last Tuesday, Oct. 26, in honor of the spooky season, the University of Rhode Island Student Entertainment Committee (SEC) decided to play some tricks and give some treats by hosting “BOO-R-I” in the Memorial Union Ballroom, their first fall-themed Halloween event.
The event featured numerous activities and attractions, including handwriting analysis and a tarot card reader, along with carnival-style games and fall/Halloween-themed snacks like candy and apple cider.
“We did debate on making it an outdoor event when we first started, but thankfully we decided on the ballroom and I think we’ve had a great turnout,” Nathan Beliveau-Robinson, president of the SEC VIP committee said.
In spite of the rain, Beliveau-Robinson said there was a solid turn-out for the event, with lines forming to get in as soon as the event began at 5 p.m.
The most popular events were the handwriting analysis and tarot card reader, with lines of up to 30 people in each at any given time, something that Beliveau-Robinson attributed to the Halloween season.
SEC decided on a carnival theme for the event, which is why they had cotton candy in addition to beverages and snacks like apple cider and donuts.
Beliveau-Robinson pointed out that last year, online events were more sparsely attended by the student body, and while SEC had successes holding concerts and Zoom conversations, they were happy to be doing in-person events again.
“Last year when we were doing Zoom events, the turnout was less than [we’d usually see] in person,” he said. “I think people are excited to be back in person and back to being able to go to stuff.”
The event was the first of its kind, as SEC has usually done themed events in the winter for Christmas or Spring Fest, as well as their big week-long series of events held every spring semester.
Students like seniors Kim Ondell and Nayelly Torres said they enjoyed their time at the event, but pointed out that they could not do the tarot card reader or handwriting analysis due to the long lines.
“Everyone and their mom wanted to do it, which is great; it’s just the wait was too long,” Ondell said.
Both said that what made them come, outside of the card reader, was the candy and the fact that they got to hang out with friends who were also attending the event.
They ended up doing the carnival games, such as the ring toss, and said they particularly enjoyed skeeball and basketball. Ondell and Torres also said that they liked the snacks that were provided.
Beliveau-Robinson was happy with the turnout and wants to continue to provide these events that SEC had offered prior to COVID-19, especially for both freshmen and sophomores who have not gotten the chance to experience many in-person activities yet.
“We knew that students were going to want to do stuff,” he said. “We want to make sure that they enjoy their time at URI and have these events to go to because prior to COVID, there was a lot of events, there was always something to do on campus, so we want to get back to that point.”