Over 70 student groups combined forces this week to produce two on-campus events: Project Pumpkin on Oct. 27 and Food Day celebrations from Oct. 23-25.
Northwestern Community Development Corps (NCDC) hosted Project Pumpkin Oct. 27, inviting about 1,000 Chicagoland children to an afternoon of Halloween festivities in the Norris University Center.
Campus group volunteers from environmental organizations, Greek houses, residential halls and other student clubs hosted a variety of booths where children could make Halloween-themed crafts, get their faces painted and play games to win candy prizes.
The majority of Project Pumpkin attendees come from NCDC sites, according to special events co-chair Susan Sun. This year NCDC worked to publicize the event also to the Northwestern community, encouraging professors and staff to bring their children.
Project Pumpkin integrates Northwestern with the surrounding community and provides a fun Halloween alternative for kids from neighborhoods where it is unsafe to trick-or-treat, Sun explained. Kids from outside Evanston were transported to and from the event by ASG-funded buses.
Sun realized that the sheer number of students involved in planning Project Pumpkin – a Project Pumpkin committee of over 50 students, a decorations committee, volunteer student chaperones and all the clubs that signed up to host a booth – shows how much Northwestern cares about giving back to the community.
“It’s really great – and refreshing – to see all the happy kids,” Project Pumpkin chaperone Suzannah Rubinstein said. “Being on a college campus makes it hard to see people who are not between the ages of 18 and 22.”
NCDC also contributed to bringing Food Day celebrations to campus Oct. 23-25, along with SEED, Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights, the Living Wage Campaign, Wild Roots, GREEN House, NOM and Sodexo.
Food Day is a national movement advocating for healthy, affordable and sustainably-produced food through thousands of promotional events.
NU Food Day activities included a work day at the Wild Roots campus garden, a speaker panel about the Chicago area food movement and a screening of the documentary “GROW.” NuCuisine hosted a fresh market in Norris and special meals in the dining halls.
“[Food Day] went really well,” said Living Wage Campaign member Robyn Levinson. “It brought all different student groups together, which is really important and also makes sense because food should be real and sustainable. That’s something all student groups can agree upon.”