» By CHRIS COPPEDGE – ccoppedge@my.apsu.edu

AAPSU’s Student Government Association held its annual Halloween event “Great Halloween Options for Safe Trick or Treating” Sunday, Oct. 30.

G.H.O.S.T. serves as a safe trick-or-treating alternative for the children of Clarksville. G.H.O.S.T. was packed with trick-or-treaters of all ages, with a variety of activities, candy and costumes on display.

Cady Denton, SGA vice president, served as the coordinator for G.H.O.S.T. alongside SGA adviser and dean of students Gregory Singleton, as well as the SGA Executive Board and other members.

“Without continued participation from student groups and their interest in community outreach, the event simply would not be the success it is,” Denton said.

This year, 75 student groups registered for total of 96 tables for the event, Denton said. The event had also been advertised in The Leaf Chronicle , online and at local schools and daycare centers.

The tables were spread out through the center of campus.

Looking to repeat last year’s success, activities at this year’s G.H.O.S.T. included face painting, trivia, “haunted’” attractions and lots of candy, Denton said.

One of the most unique groups was Phi Kappa Phi’s “Candy for the Mind” children’s book giveaway table.

“Each kid gets one free book,” said member Callie Hedges. “This is really for more underprivileged kids and their learning and development. It’s something in addition to having fun and getting candy on Halloween.”

This is Hedges’ first year helping out Phi Kappa Phi, as the previous three years she helped the International Student Organization.

“It’s definitely a different perspective working this table,” Hedges said.

In a similar vein, the Physics and Chemistry Club had a “Grimm’s Fairy Tale” castle, complete with Rapunzel. “We’ve got the castle, and we’re all dressed as fairy tale characters too,” said member Robert Baker. “Each year we try to have a theme. Last year, it was classic 8-bit videogame characters.”

The Tri-Beta Biology Honors Society took up the videogame reigns this year. “We have the inflatable Super Mario Bros. castle,” said member Krystle Irizarri. “We’ve got people dressed as characters and the music playing. There’s a lot of kids here tonight, and it always seems to go by really fast.”

Also onboard for the festivities was the three-group teamwork effort of Delta Tau Alpha, CCSC and the AG/Pre-Vet Club.

“This year, we all joined together to make a haunted tunnel,” said DTA member Tracee Gruskiewicz. “It’s difficult to do because we want to have it be scary, but also appropriate for kids. I do like that G.H.O.S.T. is during the day, it’s much safer for the kids.”

G.H.O.S.T. began in 1996 as a program originally meant for the children of APSU students, faculty and staff.
It quickly grew and, in recent years, has attracted more than 2,000 people from the campus community and surrounding areas.

It has become one of the SGA’s signature events.

The city of Clarksville itself has no input regarding planning or running the event.
“It is an APSU tradition in which we reach out and welcome community children and their parents,” Denton said. TAS