SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)- Syracuse University is set to take the scare out of Halloween this weekend, hosting the 16th annual Greek or Treat. The fraternity and sorority community will host over 100 children from various city organizations for an evening full of safe Halloween celebrations. Children of university faculty and staff are also encouraged to attend.
The event will be held on Syracuse University’s Greek Row, which has houses running down Walnut Park and Comstock Avenue. In a city with large levels of economic inequality, Lael Pierce, the Program Coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at Syracuse University, says it is important to provide kids with a safe place to celebrate.
“With this particular area and this particular community, our youth are at risk,” Pierce said. “Syracuse is one of the poorest cities in the nation, and our youth are very vulnerable and experience traumas everyday.”
The Syracuse Police Athletics/Activities League, the Poised, Gifted, and Ready Youth Foundation, and Peace, Inc. are expected to attend among several other groups that work with inner city children. Pierce said that members of Greek life can use their position on campus to give back to a broader city community that they are often isolated from.
“With Halloween, if there can be one day where the Greek community at Syracuse University can make a difference in a small yet meaningful way, Greek or Treat is definitely the place to do it,” she continued. “It’s a way for them to get out of their environment for a little while and to have a different experience outside of the inner city.”
Children are encouraged to get in the Halloween spirit and come in costume. Interactive activities such as mummy-wrapping and “duck duck ghost” will be held at the Greek houses…and lots of candy will be provided, of course.
Greek or Treat was not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so organizers are grateful to be able to host the event once more. Organizers will follow pandemic protocols and have created a safe way to celebrate the holiday.
“We are anticipating about one hundred children, and we’re definitely proud of that especially with the state we’re in given the pandemic,” Pierce said. “Children, their parents, they want to come out and have a good time and people are still looking for fun, safe things to do on Halloween.”
Greek or Treat will be held on Friday, Oct. 29th from 4:30-6:00 p.m. All children from the ages of five to 13 and their families are welcome to come kick off a weekend of Halloween fun with the Greek community.