The halls of Wolman, Whittier, and Fox (WWF) will remain without the usual thematic decorations this October due to the cancellation of Little Saints. The program has occasionally been canceled in previous years due to special circumstances such as Dr.King’s inauguration in 2012.
So what makes this year so special? This year’s cancellation is because the program has been marked for evaluation to determine whether it will be continued by residence life or canceled permanently.
Little Saints is an all-hall program which takes place during a single weekend near Halloween. Each floor in WWF strives to have the most decorated hall according to a selected theme. Typically attended by the children of Malone faculty and staff, the event is also open to the Canton community. Little Saints has provided a safe and valuable environment for children to dress up, travel through the decorated halls, and most importantly, collect candy.
The program was cancelled in order to provide an opportunity to holistically evaluate it according to Anne Schrock, resident director of WWF.
“We will be looking at budget for the years they did do it. We get to see commitment levels for the last few years they did do it and the hours upon hours it takes to do something like that and evaluate what this month is like without it,” Schrock said. “We thought this would be a great year to pause to intentionally look at those things.”
The decision regarding whether or not the event will return next year has yet to be made. What is certain is that there will not be a Little Saints this year.
The opinion seems split between those who view it as a needed break and those who view it as a necessary tradition.
What is it that makes this event so challenging to put on but still worth the effort?
Each year’s decorations are creative and elaborate, and the work takes its toll on residents. As if selecting a theme and collecting materials over days and weeks was not enough, actual implementation of the design happens in a single day. More often than not, participants have to contribute their own resources to supplement those given by the University for the Event.
“I was up at 8:00 in the morning last year (on the same day) putting things up and like right until the time it started,” said Megan Mauck, senior business administration major and previous WWF resident assistant.
Mauck saw the benefits of the hard work among her residents.
“I think overall it was worth it, and I think the community really enjoyed it.”
Mauck is not the only upperclassman who believes Little Saints was worth the hard work.
Cindy Jewel, senior exercise science major, was on a different floor and shares the same thoughts regarding Little Saints impact on the community.
“I was definitely disappointed because I liked being part of it, putting it all together, and seeing the whole dorm transform into different things,” said Jewel. “It’s kind of upsetting thinking about people who don’t let their kids trick or treat. Now what do they do for Halloween?”
The other concern in this year’s cancellation is the community the event establishes between floor members.
“It brings the floor together and unites people to pull off an event. It’s fun for everyone involved,” said Leah Webb, senior nursing major and resident assistant in WWF.
In recognition of the bonding opportunity events such as Little Saints brought to the WWF community, residence life has confirmed that the annual fall festival, which typically follows little Saints, is still going to be held Friday, Oct. 30th for WWF residents.
Charley Garwood is a contributing writer for The Aviso