Safe Block: A spooky success


Photo by Coby Berg/The Simpsonian

by Taylor Williams, Staff Writer

Simpson College hosted its annual Safe Block event on the spookiest night of the year.

Children from surrounding areas joined the Simpson community on Oct. 31 in the Kent Campus Center for a fun night celebrating Halloween.

Safe Block has been a Simpson tradition for many years. For the event, the Simpson community comes together to provide a safe and exciting environment for children to play games, do activities and trick or treat on Halloween.

Tayler Keitzer, area coordinator for Barker, Kresge and the Greek houses, said there were more than 300 children, and their guardians in attendance this year.

The children were able to enjoy their candy and participate in different activities, such as coloring, mini golf and ring toss while waiting for the next available tour.

“I think the kids really like the tours more than they like the games in the Black Box,” Keitzer said.

These tours happen every 10 minutes in the freshmen residence halls and every 15 in the Greek houses. During the tours, children showed off their spooky costumes, received candy and were given a fright in the residence halls.  

Members of the Simpson community spent the last month preparing for Safe Block—and it would not have been possible without the help of volunteers. Resident Life members started discussing what needed to be done for Safe Block starting the last week of September.

“The first week of October, we delivered fliers to the Indianola schools and sent emails to schools outside Indianola,” Keitzer said.

They also reached out to faculty and staff to find volunteer and ask for candy donations. “It took around a month to put all the pieces together,” Keitzer said.

She said the most difficult part of preparing for Safe Block is decorating in the days leading up to the event.

“It takes a lot of hours and a lot of humans to be able to do it all,” Keitzer said.

Student volunteers and Resident Life started decorating for Safe Block the Sunday after Fall Break at 8 p.m. and worked up until the night of Halloween. According to Keitzer, there were at least 10 volunteers on each floor and as many as 30 in the Greek houses, most of whom dressed up in costumes with the children.

In the Kent Black Box Theater, there were volunteers from a multitude of clubs on campus, including Wesley Service Scholars, Rotaract and Religious Life Community.  

“I think the kids think it’s cool that all the big kids are dressed up with them, and the students look forward to seeing all the kids,” Keitzer said.

Costumes ranged from Disney princesses to the entire cast of The Greatest Showman.

For some participants, this event was their first time on a college campus. Keitzer joked that they probably think this is what college campuses do all the time.

Jan Keeling, administrative assistant for campus services, told Keitzer that after leaving Safe Block, her children said they wanted to come to Simpson. She said she was also surprised their screams from the Greek houses couldn’t have been heard in Kent.

If any students are interested in participating in Safe Block in the future, look out for volunteer opportunities next holiday season.