BTO and other Black organizations bringing a Spooky Surprise to SIU


Black Togetherness Organization (BTO) is bringing back it’s annual haunted house on Oct. 27 –  28 in Grinnell Hall.

BTO is an on campus Black RSO that works with housing to spread diversity and inclusion throughout the residence halls.

Kourtney Sims, the president of BTO, said it has had haunted houses in the past, but due to COVID-19, they were not able to have one in 2020.


“Sophomores and upperclassmen have  been missing out on a lot of fun experiences on campus, and we just thought this would be something very bright and exciting,” Sims said.

BTO is excited to bring back its haunted house for students, according to Sims. BTO will have its own haunted maze for students to enjoy.

“We will also be having a karaoke room, and I believe someone’s doing an escape game, there’s a ton of stuff going on,”Sims said.

Along with BTO’s maze, other Black RSO’s will be joining in the fun as well.

Black Affairs Council will be in charge of the karaoke room. The National Association of Colored Women’s Club will also be taking part in the haunted house and  Alpha Phi Alpha will be in charge of escape games.

Grace Gunn, the coordinator of Black Affairs Council, said she is glad to collaborate with the other Black organizations.

“We just ended up co-sponsoring, and then they reached out to other black organizations on campus to be a part of, so it just became a big thing between all of us,” Gunn said. 


According to Gunn, Black Affairs Council’s main goal is to represent the African American community of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and to make sure that African American students are being represented fairly on campus.

“We organize The Black Experience, which is at the beginning of the year, multiple events for the first three or four weeks,” Gunn said.

Aisa Ester, the president of National Association of Colored Women’s Club said her RSO will be 

 hosting one of the game rooms in the haunted house with Alpha Phi Alpha

“We are going to provide games, get to know everybody, make sure that everybody feels welcome and just aid in that continuous fun for the Halloween spirit,” she said.

Ester said she expects a good turn out for the haunted house, and everyone will enjoy it. 

“The turnout is usually around, just for the haunted house, 200 something people when I was president or vice president,” Ester said. “BTO has grown so much, so I see it as being a huge event this year.” 

Sims and the other organizers are excited to have the haunted house back.

“We hope it’s something that’s exciting, and that it’s going to be worthwhile for them,” Sims said.

“That’s our overall goal with every event that we plan. We just want to make sure everyone has a good time, and that it’s like a safe and fun experience on campus.” 

Staff reporter Janiyah Gaston can be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram at @janiyah_reports. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.