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opinion

October 2013

THE DARK SIDE OF CAMPUS

Lost in the masquerade: what’s happened to Halloween? Cara Clingan Staff Writer Halloween just is not the same anymore and it’s easy to see why. I used to be able to sit out on my porch and watch children from all around the neighborhood come and trick or treat or be able to head down the street to my neighbor’s haunted house. Times have caused us to be overly cautious: fear of poisoned candy or razors in apples, our kids being beaten up for their candy, or even wearing restricted costumes. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Halloween change…in fact, Halloween was not really all about trick or treating or carving pumpkins. Halloween originates all the way back to a Celtic festival called Samhain. Tracing back around 2000 years in the lands that are now called United Kingdom, Ireland, and Northern France, the Celtics celebrated their New Years on November 1. There was always a celebration the night before (just like we do now with our New Years) that was known as Samhain. The Samhain festival honored the Celtic lord of Death, signaled the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, a season of cold, darkness, and decay, and ushered in the new Celtic year. Families would put out their hearth fires to simulate the cold and darkness of the upcoming winter. To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where people gathered to burn crops and animals as

sacrifice to the Celtic deities. People often wore costumes made from animal skin and bones as the Druids would attempt to read futures for the upcoming year. Just like with our traditions, it was believed that this was the night when spirits returned to Earth and they aided the druids in seeing into the future. Food, wine, and candles were left along the side of the road to help guide spirits and those with too much to drink, home. At the end of the night, the hearths would be relit using the fire from the festival in hopes that it blessed that home. Around 43 A.D, the Romans had taken over a majority of the Celtic territories and combined their celebrations with the Celtics’. The first was Feralia, a day in late October that commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween. As time went on, the Colonies came about and these practices weren’t as popular as they were across the seas seeing as America was trying to become a new country. Many traditions came along as more people came to America. Instead of leaving wine and food out for spirits, it was recommended by the churches to pass out “soul-cakes” to those who begged in exchange for prayers for the dead. The practice, which was referred to as “going-a-souling” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in the neighborhood and be given

Leading spirits home last Halloween

ale, food, and money. The story of leaving food and wearing costumes changed once more in the early 1900s when it was still believed that spirits roamed the earth on All Hollows Eve. They’d leave food in bowls outside their home and wear costumes to hide their identities. Many more of our superstitions came about from these times as well. The reason we avoided walking in front of black cats. This idea has its roots in the middle ages when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. Jack-o-lanterns trace back to an old Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack. Unable to enter Heaven because of his stingy ways and turned away by the Devil, Stingy Jack wandered the world, searching for a resting place. To light his way, Stingy Jack used a burning coal in a hollowed out

Crisis prevention on the campus of KCC TJ Mohl Counselor Crisis prevention begins with the understanding that prevention means creating a safe campus. A safe campus requires involvement of everyone who works, studies or visits our campus. Administratively, our campus is consistently engaged in the promotion of safety. These safety efforts range from our smart classrooms to the promotion of crisis preparedness. Recently, those efforts have included campus renovations, safety training for faculty and staff, and increased communication. *The new Student Center is a good example of how the environment impacts safety. It is bright and welcoming; aesthetically it promotes a feeling of calm. Humanly we respond to the color and the condition of our environment. Our well-kept campus also promotes

pride and participation in an attitude of promoting safety. *We all want a safe place to work and study. To make that a reality we need to recognize the efforts of our colleagues and friends who participate in making that happen. The campus initiative “Define Yourself ” encourages students and staff to accept responsibility for themselves and to take pride in who they are becoming. If we, as individuals, are intentional about taking responsibility for ourselves, our belongings and the tasks at hand, then we are a part of crisis prevention. My top ten reasons why KCC is a safe campus: 1) student code of conduct; 2) campus attentiveness to creating an atmosphere of learning; 3) safety discussions during orientations and trainings; 4) positive activities and events that promote inclusion and engagement; 5) great students who choose to be leaders;

6) promotions like “ Define Yourself ”; 7) beautiful campus facilities and grounds; 8) an exceptional instructional team that goes above and beyond; 9) the campus connection to community; and, number 10 on my list of reasons that KCC is a safe learning environment is the way the faculty, staff and students do their part in contributing to the academic excellence at KCC. This is a place people want to be. As a campus counselor I am very much aware of the impact of environment, individual attitudes and how the sense of being safe contributes to crisis prevention. Taking pride in being responsible for self contributes to overall positive atmosphere on campus. In a “Culture of Caring” we are not only safe but more productive which leads to greater success.

BRUIN BOOKSTORE National Student Day Thursday, October 3 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Students & Staff who bring in non-perishable food items will be entered into a prize drawing for a $25 gift certificate to Red Lobster/Olive Garden

photo by Cara Clingan

turnip -- hence the name "jack-o-lantern." This turned into a pumpkin once trading with America began. Young women tossed apple peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands' initials. They tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands' faces. We have lost a majority of these traditions through history. Time changes everything and with it our whole world changes constantly. How long until our Halloween is lost behind the masquerade mask of time?

Gallery Exhibit

Glimmer: The Haunting of the Graham House Photography by Christopher Schneberger

Oct. 14-Nov. 8 Monday-Friday 8 am - 4:30 pm in the Davidson Visual & Performing Arts Center Free Admission

October 2013  
October 2013  
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