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Painting Pumpkins Purple

On the crisp afternoon of Halloween, an exciting sense of festivity filled the air. Course projects and papers were not at the forefront of anyone’s mind; instead, students were occupied admiring each other’s costumes, or preparing for one of the many Halloween activities scheduled for later in the day. Students milled about Commons Lawn with cheer, soaking in the sun and enjoying the merriment that the holiday was beginning to bring.

Overlooking the scene, on the Commons back patio, a small group of students sat amidst an expanse of pumpkins, selecting ones out of the array to paint. Each person had a different relationship to visual art—some consider it a hobby and others are pursuing it more seriously—but all gathered with the intent of having a relaxing, pleasant time with their friends.

This fun activity was made possible by the Program and Activity Council along with Emma Murphy ‘23, who is an assistant in the  Office of Student Health Promotion. Working under the guidance of Ali Tartaglia, her responsibilities include making posters, helping with the office’s social media, gathering information from the student body about their health needs, and organizing campus events. 

Of the pumpkin painting, she says, “It’s supposed to be fun, but it’s also supposed to help raise awareness of domestic violence”—purple is the color for domestic violence awareness, and there was plenty of purple paint available for students to use. Sophomore Anna Rose King, after using the color to paint a cat for “spooky season,” wrote in capital letters on her pumpkin: “Domestic Violence Awareness”.

The finished pumpkins were placed atop bales of hay, with a picturesque view of the mountains in the background.

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