Make it a local Halloween

Stay in town to party, and maybe the U will learn to have its own celebration traditions.

Even though college students’ trick-or-treating days are long gone, the urge to dress up in ridiculous costumes is too great to just spend Halloween at home. This year, instead of bemoaning their “uninvitation” to Badgerland, University students should not hesitate to let loose. They don’t need to go far.

Gophers After Dark is hosting its Halloween Carnival at Coffman Union tonight and Saturday night, featuring everything from supernaturally themed movies, live music, a palm and card reader and a costume contest as well as artsy projects and Goldy Gopher photo opportunities. They have the potential to turn into fun local annual traditions.

For University students of drinking age, many Minneapolis and St. Paul establishments host Halloween party nights. If tripping the light fantastic in a witch’s hat sounds entertaining – or maybe as someone who can actually dance – there are places to go.

But as much fun as Halloween can be downtown, University students should resist the urge to create a Madisonesque image for the Twin Cities, such as that which rendered them uninvited to the University of Wisconsin-Madison this year. All the booing and hissing about the new visitor rules at Madison is completely absurd given the potential for fun available in our own fair cities.

If Coffman’s activities just don’t cut it, dorm students can arrange to have alcohol-free Halloween events with their community advisers and hall directors. Those with access to a vehicle can check out the corn maze down in Shakopee.

True, the University could do with its own haunted house (or haunted hall) and a howling campuswide Halloween celebration with all the space available on the East Bank. But to get those sorts of party rights in the future, University students must prove they can celebrate Halloween with scary style, not drunken debauchery. Then, perhaps in the near future, Twin Cities students can have a monstrous celebration of their own, worthy of their cheesehead neighbors.