Black Student Alliance's Annual Halloween Party for Local Kids
By Ashley Sapp
The Black Student Alliance’s annual Halloween Party for the Kids, which took place on Saturday, Oct. 16, provides local children with a safe and fun way to celebrate Halloween with games, activities, and lots of candy. While it is a fun and socially interactive event for many children to attend, students and parents who participated in the Halloween party predict a prosperous future for the Black Student Alliance.
According to Kourtnee Battle, a student and the president of Old Dominion University's Black Student Alliance, the 20-year-old organization is one that caters not only to the African-American campus community, but to the whole campus through different events such as Club Candlelight and of course, the Halloween Party for the Kids. The organization also does community service activities such as food and clothing drives, social events to get people involved, and educational workshops to raise awareness among students. For two years Battle has served as president of the Black Student Alliance, which was established on ODU's campus in January of 1990.
The annual Halloween Party took place at Webb Center on the campus of Old Dominion University and was open to all children in the surrounding community. The party lasted for three hours from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. and had about two dozen kids in attendance, ranging in age from infant to about 10 years old. Members of BSA advertised the event by hanging up posters in the Webb Center, posting student announcements, and making event invitations on Facebook. Members also passed out flyers to the child centers on campus, Larchmont Elementary School, and Lambert's Point Recreational Center. The Black Student Alliance, along with other campus organizations, puts on this event every year to ensure that children in the community have a safe and fun way to celebrate Halloween. This fun-filled event includes activities such as face painting, mask decorating, Halloween-themed music and dancing, and a costume contest. The event also has food for the children and parents, piñatas, and of course, plenty of candy. When Battle is asked how she feels about reaching out to the children, she says, "It makes me feel like I'm inspiring them, helping them and encouraging them to do better." She also feels that this annual event will potentially gain more members for BSA, as well as show other campus organizations and ODU that the Black Student Alliance is active in the community.
Christa Clark, a senior at Old Dominion, brought her younger brother and sister to the Halloween party for the first time. Although she would not use this activity as an alternative for trick-or-treating, she was very satisfied with the variety of activities that were available for 9-year-old CJ and 4-year-old Celina. "I went trick-or-treating as a kid and I enjoyed it because it was something I looked forward to. I would want my siblings to share the same fun experience that I did as a child," says Clark. She also says this event benefits ODU and the people in the community because it allows the people to involve their families as well as members of the community, and allows ODU to be seen as a welcoming environment.