Unofficial Halloween brings more treats than trouble

Guest Column 

In case you missed it this past weekend was Unofficial Halloween.

You might have seen streets filled with cars, people dressed in costumes and a lot of unfamiliar faces.

Carbondale’s Halloween celebration is probably the most infamous event of the university.

When I talk to people of my parents’ generation about my school, they always respond with either, “Oh that party school,” or some story from a Halloween years ago.

So I took it as a stigma my first few years.

Having participated in it this year, I have gained a new perspective of what Unofficial Halloween is to SIUC. Let me describe some noteworthy things that I saw this Unofficial Halloween:

Driving down Forest Street, the entire right side of the road was lined with parked cars.

Turning left on College Street, there were cars bumper to bumper parked on the left side.

My roommate had seven people from other cities staying at our place for the weekend. Our neighbors had at least 10 visitors staying. One of the nights I met more costumed visitors than students that attend SIUC.

Is Unofficial Halloween a negative thing for SIUC?

Strictly speaking, I would say it is neither negative nor positive. However, I think the good outweighs the bad.

No, I’m not adding the aesthetic pleasures of drinking alcohol to the scale. I am referring to things that affect the city of Carbondale and/or the university.

In our house alone, there was more than double the amount of people staying.

That means more than double the amount of people buying alcohol to drink and food for those late night drunken hungers.

What about the publicity SIUC is getting?

We’re talking a large amount of visitors from out of town. When they leave Carbondale and go back home, no doubt they will tell their friends about their weekend.

The increased number of people in town drinking increases the number of parking tickets and drinking tickets.

Hello, Carbondale police! I bet you’re giving out more tickets than usual.

Unofficial Halloween has a negative reputation for several reasons.

The first reason is from its history in the ’90s.

The second reason is that we call it “Unofficial.”

Most universities have their own “Unofficial” they hold as a time to drink and party such as Champaign’s Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day.

The third reason is that it is student organized.

Evansville, Ind. holds its Fall Festival, which is the second largest street festival next to Mardi Gras.

The Fall Festival does not include the negativity of our Unofficial Halloween.

But regardless, you could just as easily refer to Unofficial Halloween as our own “Fall Festival.”

Unofficial Halloween does this place some good.


Senior from Omaha, Neb.

studying philosophy

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