While the leaves fall and students scramble to explain their first quarter comments to their parents, the day of demons and imposters approaches. Halloween is the one day of the year when people can channel their inner tricksters by wearing both awe-inspiring costumes and performing sly tricks. Two years ago, the Upper Campus of University School participated in the spirit of the national holiday by having a school-wide costume contest. Unfortunately, last year, the administration and former prefects decided to replace this fun event with another autumn activity, apple bobbing. With Halloween approaching, the school should return to the tradition of a costume contest.
Last year, the houses chose their fiercest competitors for the apple-bobbing contest. People had mixed thoughts about this event. William Willoughby believed that “this contest was unsatisfying. I liked when we cheered for the best costume. The excitement for the apple bobbing contest quickly died out for me.” Others expressed that it was less thrilling to watch students stick their heads inside a bucket than to cheer for the best costume. While many students expressed their displeasures, Abe Katz, a sophomore, explained that he enjoyed the contest. He explained to me that, “the contest was fun to watch. I liked cheering for my house, and anything that is different in assembly is fine with me.” Personally, I enjoyed the apple bobbing contest, but I believe that we should bring back this costume contest this year and have both of these events.
Both students and faculty enjoyed the Halloween contest. Ray Muzilla, a junior, told me, “Vikings, sports stars, and multiple Bob Rosses — that Costume contest included so many good costumes. It took my mind off school, and I just laughed and clapped the whole time.” To many, this contest took their minds off the frantic school year and reminded them of the days of trick-or-treating with their friends. Last year, this great contest at assembly was replaced with a smaller version in which the prefects randomly tapped people that they thought had interesting costumes, but a many of the student population forgot or did not know that this contest existed.
Teachers agreed with the students on bringing back the costume contest. Dr. Foulds explains that having the costume contest back would be acceptable as long as no one wore any offending costumes. He elaborated by arguing the contest recreates the spooky but nostalgic feeling of Halloween.
While the Halloween costume contest was cherished by most, it had its problems. Against the spirit of Halloween, some would choose to wear simple costumes, such as a baseball uniform, to avoid the $5 fee for dressing down.
In the end, the majority of people support bringing back this contest, and their desire may be fulfilled. The prefects have hinted at restoring the Costume Contest this year in order to reestablish the true spirit of Halloween at University School.