By Tyler Obermark, Staff Photographer
Maddie Woodham, sophomore, psychology, believes that the “Pierre Laclede Honors College Student Association (PLHCSA) is a phenomenal organization that really encourages student involvement.” This involvement was evident on Halloween when over fifty PLHCSA members gathered to help set up and work Haunted Honors.
Haunted Honors, a free event for all students, took place on October 31 from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Pierre Laclede Honors College on the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ south campus, which brought in 260 guests. The annual event is run by PLHCSA members who dedicate hours of their day setting up from 10 in the morning until 7 at night before the event starts. At 8 p.m., tour guides led participants through a haunted tour of the Honors College.
Tour guide Madison Koogler, sophomore, nursing, said, “I like how we incorporated many organizations on campus other than ourselves.”
PLHCSA encouraged organizations to sponsor rooms and “create a story” about them. Fraternities and sororities on campus including UMSL’s Delta Zeta, Phi Mu Alpha, and Alpha Sigma Phi chapters sponsored rooms as well as organizations other than PLHCSA such as Student Electronic Media Professionals’ Association (SEMPA) and Pre-Dental society. UMSL’s Recreation and Wellness Center sponsored a room as well.
Each room had a specific theme and story that tour guides explained to participants. Koogler’s favorite part about being a tour guide was being able to “see the reactions of everybody” as they went through the haunted house.
“Scarers” filled the rooms and their job was simply to scare the people going through the tour. Aiden Worley, junior, business administrations, said that his “favorite part of being a scarer was the reactions of the people and the amount of fun [he] had thinking up different ways to scare people.” Worley’s tip for future scarers is: “do not be afraid to go crazy with your costume, it makes it a lot easier to scare and to stay in character.” Worley plans on participating in this event next year.
PLHCSA promised the first one hundred participants that if they made it out alive, they would walk away with a free t-shirt. All the participants had to go into each room, if they dared, and grab a popsicle stick. At the end of the tour, they would then turn these in for their t-shirt.
UMSL’s Student Government Association President Sean Burkett, senior, criminal justice, applauded the effort of PLHCSA President Nicole Gevers, senior, civil engineering. Burkett said, “Nicole’s want for collaboration truly shows that PLHCSA is a great organization striving to connect students to one another.”
The whole event had a fun atmosphere to it and did bring students together, even if the means in doing so had the students holding on to each other in fear.
PLHCSA hosted the event for free but accepted donations to benefit their adopted charity, Gateway Pet Guardians. The organization has hosted many events this year to raise money for the charity. Other events in addition to Haunted Honors include Paint-A-Palooza where students purchase a t-shirt and have a big paint powder war, and “Are You Smarter Than the Professors? Trivia Night” where students face professors head-to-head in trivia.
UMSL’s Pierre Laclede Honors College focuses students’ academics in a liberal arts atmosphere with a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Small discussion based and writing intensive courses are typical for students at the Honors College. Merit scholarships are offered to admitted students in good standing. The college and the student association membership that goes along with being an admitted student encourages an involved student community.
Want to become a Pierre Laclede Honors College student? Contact the main office at (314) 516-5243 OR the honors admissions office at (314) 516-7769.