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The Undergraduate Council passed legislation to collaborate with the College Events Board on a College-wide virtual Halloween costume contest Sunday.
Council members drafted the legislation, sponsored by Lowell House representative Samyra C. Miller ’21 and Dunster House representative Ethan J. Johnstone ’23, in order to provide holiday-related cheer to students who cannot attend the CEB’s flagship Halloween event, a virtual “Haunted Harvard” activity scheduled for Oct. 28.
The legislation stated that Halloween is “a time for students to show off their creativity.” It asked the Council to run a Halloween costume contest through its Instagram account during the last week of October.
College students would use the hashtag “harvardhalloween20” and post their costumes on social media. The Council would then work with the CEB to select finalists, for whom students could vote by “liking” their photos on both groups’ social media accounts.
The winners of the contest will receive prizes from a student-run small business, Harvard Honey Shop, which is owned and operated by Kelsey A. Hoskin ’21. The shop sells Harvard-themed stickers and clothing.
“We’re going to have first, second, and third place prizes, and they’re all going to be different Harvard Honey products, little prize bundles, and I’ll be releasing those through the Harvard Honey site,” Hoskin said.
Distance and time zone differences would limit students’ ability to celebrate the holiday normally, according to the legislation, which passed unanimously.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic dispersed a majority of undergraduates, Halloween at Harvard was a festive affair. In 2018, the CEB hosted a trick-or-treat in Harvard Yard, Halloween decor adorned Annenberg Hall, and professors and resident deans dressed up for the holiday.
Miller said she thought the costume contest could increase engagement among the student body.
“We’re just trying to get more engagement on our social media,” she added.
The Council also discussed its upcoming presidential election during Sunday’s meeting, voting to approve new rules and to update its website. Until the end of October, students can gather signatures in favor of adding referendum questions to the Council ballot. At least 10 percent of undergraduates must sign a petition in favor of those questions.
In past years, referenda have related to topics like fossil fuel and prison divestment, dining services hours, and University sexual misconduct policies.
—Staff writer Hannah J. Martinez can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @martinezhannahj.
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