Either you love it or you hate it. HallOUween is an interesting time for the life of an Ohio University student. The population of Athens nearly doubles in size for a single night. It has been an Athens tradition since 1974, after people hanging out on Court Street stopped traffic for a few hours. Since then, it has become an event with stages and sponsors, but it is still a public celebration for young adults. Ohio University tries to distance itself from the block party because they think it is bad for their image. Here are four reasons why the university should embrace HallOUween instead of turning their cheek.
1. The exposure to Ohio University
There are many people who may not have been to Ohio University before. This event is something that draws people to visit and see what Ohio University and the city of Athens is all about. HallOUween could even enlighten possible high school graduates or transfer students about the campus and all Ohio University has to offer, including both the college experience and a great education.
2. The economy boost.
This one is easy. When you double the size of your population and bring a bunch of young adults to a city, they’re going to spend money. This benefits not only the stores and restaurants on Court Street, but also on East State Street and other stores around Athens. The money that comes in boosts the city of Athens and that’s something Ohio University can get behind.
3. Increased sense of community.
Bobcats feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when HallOUween comes around. When people from different colleges and universities come for HallOUween it brings a sense of community with other Bobcats, even if you don’t know them. Most of us can relate to each other because everyone’s friends try to squeeze into our houses, trash our rooms and eat our food. This event makes people come together, discuss their experiences and give advice on what to do.
Does a university want to be recognized for a massive block party? Of course not. But it is something that makes Ohio University stand out. When talking to people who don’t know much about OU, HallOUween is usually something that comes to mind. This starts a conversation, which will most likely lead to a discussion about how great Ohio University actually is. This recognition is necessary for people that are not informed about Ohio University, but are curious about it.
Hayden Clark is a junior strategic communication major. Follow him on Twitter @HaydenClark81!