Annual Halloween carnival canceled
Student Life Assistant Director Kendra Fringer said with the loss of four student workers and one professional staff member, they just don’t have the staffing needed to host the event.
“It’s not that we didn’t want to do the carnival,” Fringer said. “It’s not that we didn’t have the funds to do the carnival. It was that we didn’t have the necessary manpower to facilitate a quality event.”
In the past, Fringer said, Student Life has put out a call for volunteers when they needed help with an event.
However, for the Halloween Carnival, she said, Student Life requires that two office personnel check all volunteers against a sex offender registry list, and they just did not have the resources to do that.
Student Life currently employs four student workers and five full-time office staff.
Traditionally, OCCC clubs and organizations have set up various booths for the carnival where children could play games, and receive candy and prizes.
Nursing major Yessenia Valadez said she has never been to the carnival and was looking forward to the carnival this year.
Valadez said she is in four campus clubs and each of them had planned to participate.
“I wanted to dress up and run a little booth or at least help,” she said.
Valadez said one of the clubs planned to hand out candy, another wanted to hold a fundraiser at the carnival and another had hoped to give back to the community by working at a booth.
She said she thinks Student Life could make the event happen if they really want to.
“I think they should have put it on,” she said. “I think their excuse was pretty bad. I think if there was really a will to do it, they would have gotten people from [another division].”
History Professor Ray McCullar has worked at OCCC since the college opened in 1972. He said he remembers the carnival being held as far back as 1974.
He said he remembers dressing up as a mad scientist in the carnival’s haunted house, which he participated in every year until they did away with the house.
“We had kind of a haunted house and the children enjoyed that,” McCullar said.
McCullar said the carnival is always a very busy and a popular event, especially since more people have stopped trick-or-treating.
“A lot of people don’t like to go door-to-door because they don’t know what kind of treats they’re getting or who’s going to open the door,” he said.
While he is sad to see it canceled this year, he said he hopes Student Life will have enough workers to put on the event next year.
“I think it’s a good thing because it brings in the community, it brings in children, their parents — people who otherwise might not see the college,” McCullar said.
“But if you don’t have enough volunteers and you have to go outside the college to get volunteers, it gets complicated.”
Nursing major Katie Peabody said she took her daughter Sophia to Francis Tuttle’s carnival last year but was excited to attend OCCC’s carnival this year.
“I wanted to go this year but then I got the email that it was canceled,” she said. “I wanted to take my daughter this year because she’s 2 and that’d be fun for her.”
Fringer said students can contact Student Life for a list of alternative local Halloween events.
For more information about the carnival’s cancellation or upcoming events, contact Student Life at 405-682-7523.
In the past, a $1 donation has been suggested for each child attending.
Fringer said last year, carnival proceeds were donated to United Way. She said, this year, students could donate to those organizations in a different way.
“We are encouraging students to participate in events that the United Way committee is advertising,” she said.
The 2015-2016 Budget allocates $1,000 to the carnival, which, Fringer said, will now be used for Student Life spring events.
“We know this is an event that people enjoy,” she said. “The funds that were dedicated will not be misused.”