Beware of ghouls and goblins on the South Oval Wednesday from 5:30-7 p.m. as Greek Shriek! kicks off.
The annual event, hosted by Sorority and Fraternity Life, the Interfraternity Council and College Mentors for Kids this year, will feature music, food and 20 events including painting, crafts and carnival-like games, Hunter Hartwig, assistant director of Sorority and Fraternity Life, said.
“I love Halloween and I just like to see our community come together across all of our different organizations and really put on an event that serves not only our campus community, but students who are and children who are interacting with Ohio State in a fun and positive way,” he said.
Hartwig said since 2018, the event has transformed to incorporate working with College Mentors for Kids. He added that planning begins in the spring and collaboration with the IFC starts at the beginning of the autumn semester.
“We want to show those kids what a fun college experience can provide them,” Hartwig said. “Maybe they haven’t thought about wanting to go to college and so I think that’s really neat if we’re able to support that message through that organization and through our event.”
Hartwig said the event is important to foster positive relationships between the Greek life community — which has chapter houses in the University District area — and the Columbus community. “Maybe they only think about it during game days when there’s loud music and you know people everywhere,” Hartwig said. “I think that this shows in a way, a different way that our students want to interact with community and the neighbors and the campus community as well.”
Madelyn Predmore, president of College Mentors for Kids, said the organization works with five different elementary schools Monday through Thursday in the Columbus area including Highland Elementary School, Linden Stem, Weinland Park Elementary, West Franklin Elementary and Hamilton Stem.
Around 30 mentors and their “little buddies” from West Franklin Elementary will attend Greek Shriek! from 3-5 p.m. before it is open to the public at 5:30 p.m., Predmore said.
“I think it’s really important for the kids, just because it’s something exciting, something different than our regular activities,” Predmore said. “This one’s really exciting for them because they get to kind of really enjoy their time and get in the Halloween spirit.”
Predmore said this will be her second Greek Shriek! and she is excited to have it back after a lost year due to COVID-19.
“They had a little photo booth setup and it was just cool,” Predmore said. “It was cool to see the personality of each buddy and what prop they chose. And we just took big group pictures and it was just a really good experience and fun to kind of see all of the buddies open up and be very just excited to do all the different things they have.”
Michael Kohler, vice president of community development in the Interfraternity Council, said the purpose for holding this event is to give back and serve the community to make it a better place.
“That’s really the role Greek life should have in campuses is improving the quality of life for other students and the community at large,” Kohler, a fourth-year in public policy analysis and the new member orientation officer for Phi Kappa Tau, said.
Kohler said the event also serves as a role model experience for elementary school students to see what it means to be an upstanding member of the community.
“I think that this event is an awesome opportunity to really showcase a lot of those ideals and really showcase how we can give back and give our time and how we are all committed to giving our time for these types of things,” Kohler said.