RHA Inspires Residents to Spook Up Their Dorms

By J. Harvard Feldhouse

The Residence Hall Association hosted a door-decorating contest for students living in the dorms at Youngstown State University as part of the RHA’s House Cup competition.

In the competition, named the Hallo-Fall Door Decorating Competition, residents had the chance to win a prize and points for the House Cup by decorating their room doors with a Halloween or autumn theme. 

Ally Borak, sophomore biochemistry major, participated because she likes arts and crafts and believed it to be a good use of her time outside of studying.

Ally Borak used construction paper to reconstruct a classic scene from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Photo By J. Harvard Feldhouse

“I’m mainly in for the fun of doing it,” Borak said. “I had a lot of fun decorating my door, seeing different concepts and trying to, like, creatively do it because in my field, I don’t really get the chance to be creative. So, this was a fun little activity to do outside my major.”

Borak prefers Christmas over Halloween, but she saw the opportunity to make a door using both Christmas and Halloween themes after she rewatched the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

“I was just inspired by that [movie], and I thought it would be funny if I took something that’s actually a Christmas movie and made it Halloween,” Borak said. “[On the door] we have the big Oogie Boogie monster as the background,
and then we have Jack and Sally on top of a pumpkin patch.”

While some residents decorated their door specifically for the competition, some submitted doors they made before the competition was announced.

Gloria Hynes, sophomore forensic science major, said decorating for various holidays is a tradition in her suite. 

Before they knew about the competition, Hynes and her suite furnished their door with Halloween caution tape, spooky skull banners, tinsel and a wreath. When they heard about the competition, they figured they might as well submit their door.

Gloria Hynes stands by the door she and her suitemates decorated. Photo By J. Harvard Feldhouse

“We definitely think [we have a chance to win],” Hynes said. “We kind of tend to go all-out, at least in our opinions, and from what we’ve been seeing around, there’s not as much as we have just because we’re a little bit extra.”

Kameya Parks, junior theatre studies, stage management major and director of operations of RHA, said about 30 students submitted their doors to the competition. 

“It was a pretty good turnout of submissions and sign-ups,” Parks said. “I was kind of shocked to see that so many people were interested in doing this.”

Various members from Housing and Residence Life will vote for the winners based on creativity and how well the displays are put together. Each residence hall — Kilcawley, Lyden, Cafaro, Wick and Weller — are House Cup teams. Each house will have a winner as well as an overall winner. 

“We did this just to get people excited about living in the residence halls, so they have something to be proud of like when they’re on campus,” Parks said.

“There are a few [submissions] while we were going over them that just blew my mind,” Parks added. “I never thought to do that. We have some pretty creative people on campus.”

Each house gets an automatic 50 points for participating, but overall first place gets 200 points, second place gets 175 points and third place gets 150 points. Winning students will get to pick from a variety of $5 gift cards, and the overall winner wins a $15 gift card.

Like Borak, Hynes and her suite are in it for the fun; the prize is simply extra.

“We absolutely love it,” Hynes said. “We always get into what we call the ‘spooky season.’ We always watch horror movies like “Halloweentown” together. It’s a little thing that brings us all together.”

Contest winners will be announced on Nov. 1 at 11:30 a.m. on Instagram at @YSU_HouseCup.