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Greek or Treat canceled, but Halloween festivities continue during the lighting of 'A' mountain

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Ericka Rios | The Daily Wildcat As the hundreds of flares are being lit up the UA Bobcats, who take a moment to be part of their work.

Though Greek or Treat is canceled this year, the University of Arizona is still providing a safe space where the Tucson community can go trick-or-treating on Oct. 31 at the lighting of “A” mountain. The event starts at 5 p.m. at the MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento.

Greek or Treat was a formerly annual event hosted by Greek Life where kids could go trick-or-treating. Booths by various Greek organizations would be set up at the UA Mall, with games to receive candy. Another yearly tradition at the university around this time is the lighting of “A” mountain, where the Bobcat Senior Honorary, working alongside the Alumni Association, goes up to light the mountain to kick off homecoming festivities for the week. 

Because the lighting of “A” mountain fell on Halloween this year, it was decided that the event should be done “trick-or-treat” style, according to Jordyn Shelton, a member of Bobcat Senior Honorary and Alpha Phi president. To avoid low engagement for each of the two individual events, Senior Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Programs Greer Vinall said via email their organizations chose to support the Alumni Association’s event instead of individually hosting Greek or Treat.

Now, the two traditional events have been combined into one. According to Marc Acuña, Bobcats Senior Honorary adviser and senior director of Alumni and Student Engagement, 27 different Greek and student organizations have signed up to participate in the trick-or-treating event at the lighting of “A” mountain.

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Preview of participating student organizations for trick-or-treating tables

Gamma Rho Lambda is one of the Greek organizations that has participated in Greek or Treat in the past and will have a table at the Alumni Association’s trick-or-treating event. Rezwana Islam, a member of the sorority, said one difference between the two events is that the organizations will not be expected to set up games to receive candy this year. 

Despite that, Islam said kids in Tucson can still expect a fun time and being able to trick-or-treat in a safe space. 

“We understand that neighborhoods across Tucson differ a lot, and for some people, certain neighborhoods might not be a safe place to trick-or-treat,” Islam said. “... . Expect a fun time, being able to get some candy, hang out, see the lighting of ‘A’ mountain and just being around the good, positive UA atmosphere.”

And though games are not required for the tables this year, the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association is planning to do a fishing concept, where kids can throw over a fishing line to receive candy. 

In addition to making the event more interactive, it was set up to create a more inclusive environment for kids with speech or language disorders, NSSLHA President Rosie McClure said.

“Trick-or-treating puts a lot of pressure on kids to be able to articulate those sounds ... . The ‘r’ sound is one of the latest sounds that children acquire,” McClure said. “By doing a fishing booth, we’re taking out some of that verbal pressure.”

For Mimi McVey, president of SOPHOS Sophomore Honorary, she said her student organization’s participation is a way to provide to the UA campus and community.

“[The UA campus and community] has been there for us, and what better way to do it than to give out candy, see people and again, participating in those traditions that have been here for a while?” McVey said.

Other events during lighting of ‘A’ mountain 

Besides the lighting of ‘A’ mountain and trick-or-treating at the event, Acuña said the Tucson community can look forward to the announcement of the top five homecoming kings and queens and special guests during the night. Those who cannot make the event in person can also watch the livestream online from the UA Alumni Association Facebook page.

And if you miss the lighting of “A” mountain event, don’t worry — it’s only the start of homecoming week! Homecoming Olympics will begin on the following Tuesday, taking place on Nov. 2-4 in person at the UA Mall and online events over Zoom on Tuesday and Wednesday. Students can also look forward to Bear Down Friday on Nov. 5 and the Wildcat for Life Tailgate Party at the UA Mall on Saturday, Nov. 6.


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