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Halloween Traditions on Campus

As Halloween approaches in Rochester, the campus has many fun traditions planned for the season. Towards the end of September and all of October, there are events almost every Friday and Saturday hosted by UR Late Night, including free apple cider and donuts or pumpkin painting. These events are a great way to get in a Fall mood throughout the month. All events are free and are open to all students.

There is also a pumpkin patch on the Wilson Quad, usually taking place the weekend before Halloween. This event is put on by the Class Councils and features lots of photo ops and free fall-themed snacks. The Class Councils also hold a costume contest each year during “Halloweekend” for students. Anyone can submit a photo of their costume that year and are entered for a chance to win a variety of prizes. Previously, people have won speakers, candy baskets, and squishmallows! It is a great time to show off your creativity and commitment to the bit. 

At the beginning of October, as midterms begin in full swing, the University of Rochester Health Promotion Office puts on a “Destress Fest.” The event encourages students to come out of their rooms or wherever they are holed up studying to enjoy some time to relax. The event typically has lots of calming activities, such as coloring or painting, as well as hot tea and hot chocolate. The event starts the month out on a relaxing note, helping students prepare with relaxation techniques to help them conquer midterms. 

However, the end of the month is when the biggest events appear. Before Halloween, River Campus Libraries put on a campus-wide scavenger hunt, each year sporting a different theme, such as Haunted Library (2023) and Spooky Cinema (2022). This event encourages students to get around campus and explore places they have never been. They will be sent to different library spaces across the campus and learn about the resources available to them. It is a great way to get to know campus a little better and learn more about all the great things the library can do for you. Be sure to get started early, as the prize of finishing the hunt is a ticket to the top of Rush Rhees Library Tower. The first 300 to complete the scavenger hunt will have the privilege to ride the elevator all the way to the top of the tower and see campus from above (weather permitting). This is one of the only chances to get to the top of the tower during the academic year, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity! The view is beautiful, especially with the orange and yellow hues of the fall leaves sprinkled across the quad. The library offers an accessible version of the scavenger hunt for anyone who may need accommodations but still wants in on all the fun!

If the scavenger hunt isn’t for you, no worries! River Campus Libraries offer much more during the day. There are free fall-themed snacks in Rush Rhees, such as apple cider and donuts, which are available to all students. There are also therapy dogs for those struggling through the midterm season or those who miss their furry friend at home. The UR Photography Club also offers students a chance to have their fall-themed photo dreams come true, as they provide a photoshoot space for those interested. Rocky also tends to make an appearance in the library, so be sure to keep a lookout and take a selfie!

Aside from the library, on the Wilson Quad, each year, you’ll be able to watch the American Society of Mechanical Engineers put on their annual pumpkin launch. The launch features teams from UR Baja, UR SolarSplash, and UR Makers, three on-campus clubs, as well as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers chapter from RIT. The teams compete in a few rounds of challenges as they launch their pumpkins across the quad. The event runs for a few hours, so you can stop by whenever to watch the pumpkins fly about 300 feet through the air!

The Halloween season is packed full of activities on campus. There is something for everyone. There are even more events that take place each year that clubs and organizations put on for students. To keep up with everything available, students can check out the CCC app or website for a list of all events on campus. The University does an amazing job of creating all these events; all you have to do is take advantage of them!


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