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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Frank Dining Hall’s Pumpkin Painting Palooza

Joshua Repp

Colgate University Dining Services recently hosted a pumpkin decorating contest in Frank Dining Hall to celebrate student talent and encourage community engagement during the Halloween season. After multiple rounds of voting on Instagram, the winner will be announced by Frank on Nov. 1, the day after Halloween.

Marketing Manager Tiffany Simmons organized the event as a way to bring back Colgate traditions that were lost during the pandemic years.

“In my office, there was a marketing plan from back in 2018 that listed a few special events that Colgate Dining Services had done in the past, one of them being a pumpkin decorating contest,” Simmons said. “To my understanding, things like this were lost during the COVID-19 era, and, as someone who graduated college in the middle of the pandemic, I understand the importance of re-establishing these traditions.”

After settling on the idea, Simmons utilized social media and print marketing to see which students had an interest in decorating pumpkins. From there, students took the pumpkins back to their dorm rooms to decorate them.

“It was really fun seeing students leave with a pumpkin and come back with these well-thought-out and well-executed works of art. Just seeing how proud they were of what they had created was my favorite part of this entire contest,” Simmons said. 

Sophomore Lucy Brewer took part in the contest and enjoyed how creative all of the pumpkins were.

“For my pumpkin, I had no idea of what to do until my friend thought it would be funny to draw Frank,” Brewer said. “In hindsight, I wish I had done more, although I will say I think the contrast between [my] Frank pumpkin and the others is somewhat amusing.”

The contest is just one way that Frank Dining Hall and Dining Services are striving to serve the students in more ways than just providing food.

“I think it is important for Frank and all other dining venues to have a community and engagement with students because were here to serve the students,” Simmons said. “We want to make sure students know they can come to us with any and all questions, concerns or recommendations they may have. We also want dining to be fun; even if art isn’t your thing, we want to bring things to our dining halls that students will enjoy.”

The contest is being held alongside other activities on campus, such as Frank Dining Hall’s “No Tricks, All Treats” DIY Candy Bar, Chobani’s staff costume contest and a movie marathon at Donovan’s Pub.

The contest also aims to highlight student artistic talents at Colgate, which can often be overlooked. The contest placed the decorated pumpkins near the entrance to Frank Dining Hall to display everyone’s work.

“We have so many talented students here on campus, and we wanted to give our students a chance to showcase that talent,” Simmons said.

Brewer also sees the contest as a way for students who are usually not involved in art to explore new areas that they are interested in.

“I think having a pumpkin decorating contest is the perfect mix of community bonding and Halloween,” Brewer said. “Having these contests where everyone can try being an artist is fun and allows everyone to dabble in something they wouldn’t normally try.”

For sophomore Averie Roberts, who took part in the contest, artistic opportunities are essential for the well-being of Colgate students.

“I am not formally involved with the arts at Colgate, but I do my own sort of art all the time. Creating [art] makes me feel grounded, so when I have the free time for it, I love working on projects,” Roberts said. “Activities with student engagement are important because they’re low-stakes means of expressing yourself and seeing how others express themselves.”

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About the Contributor
Joshua Repp, Assistant Arts & Features Editor
Joshua Repp is a first-year from Toledo, OH with a potential concentration in political science and a potential minor in Chinese. He has previously served as a staff writer for the News, Arts & Features and Baker's Dozen sections. On campus, Joshua is a marketing coordinator for Colgate Portfolio, intern for the division of arts and humanities, and participates in intramural table tennis.

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