October 24, 2022
students and families play a game at Halloween on Campus

The University is expecting to host around 2,000 people for the Oct. 27 “Halloween on Campus,” an annual community celebration with carnival games and trick-or-treating organized by Campus Ministry’s Cardinal Service Corps

As per tradition, the University extends invitations for families who live in the surrounding Brookland neighborhood to join the campus community for Halloween festivities. Children can trick-or-treat in Centennial Village and interact with a number of student organizations in spook-tacular activities spread across the Marist Lawn.

“I think one of our ministries is a gift of hospitality. We are sharing our gifts, which are the students, but also our space with the community,” said Emmjolee Mendoza-Waters, director of community engagement for Campus Ministry. “Halloween on Campus is just a big Halloween carnival!” 

There were only a few hundred people in attendance for the first festival, but the number has grown exponentially as the years have passed. Now with over 400 volunteers and upwards of 15,000 pieces of donated candy, Cardinal Service Corps members work for weeks to organize the event. 

Mendoza-Waters said that they are “very intentional” about inviting neighbors. As the University has been established in the Brookland neighborhood for nearly 150 years, engagement with neighbors helps to grow a sense of community and ministry.

“Students create a spooky and playful Halloween experience for all ages with games, music, food, and candy!” said Janet Crespo, a Brookland resident and mother who is a Halloween on Campus veteran. ”You can really tell CUA students work very hard to plan and execute this event, and we are very grateful for them creating a space for all families to have a safe and fun pre-Halloween celebration.”

Though the Cardinal Service Corps plans the event, other University student organizations set up their own stations to engage with families. Various student organizations coordinate activities pertaining to their club. For example, the University’s Knights of Columbus chapter even have a “Fight the Knight” activity where children can pretend to sword fight with someone dressed up as a chevalier.

The University aims to truly celebrate the togetherness of the campus and the greater neighborhood by merging the two. Mendoza-Waters is also a Brookland resident with children, and she says that events like Halloween on Campus are a “gift” to the community.

Another Brookland resident, Julia Bozzolo, said “Community events like this one helps to give Brookland that small town feeling that people love so much.”

Maisy Sullivan, senior, Communications Intern