Students dip caramel apples, throw pies

Third annual Fall Fest celebrates autumnal activities

Dreams came true Thursday evening as students celebrated the wonderful season of fall by hurling pies at residence assistants’ faces.

Third annual Fall Fest celebrates autumnal activities

Dreams came true Thursday evening as students celebrated the wonderful season of fall by hurling pies at residence assistants’ faces.


Freshman Mariah Bianco dips her caramel apple into a bowl of toppings during Fall Fest.

“Fall is an exciting season filled with food and social gatherings,” said Christina Hanson, a second-year RA who helped plan this year’s Fall Fest.

Students filled the first floor of Montgomery Court to engage in fall-themed activities such as pumpkin painting, squash bowling and caramel-apple making. The event was free.

Fall Fest was organized by University Housing and Residence Life with help from the Residence Hall Association. The Associated Students of Portland State University organized a nonperishable-food drive.

A bit before 8 p.m., as a cappella group The Green Notes finished the first of its two performances, Montgomery’s main room was filled with 40–50 students who cheered and chatted with one another.

It was the third year for the event and the most successful as far as attendance, said Matt Lewis, an area coordinator for PSU Housing and Residence Life.


Nick Carter, a sophomore resident assistant, paints a pumpkin during Fall Fest on Thursday evening.

With an estimated 250 students in attendance, this year’s event easily eclipsed last year’s count of about 100 students.

As food cooked on the barbecue, students took pictures together in a photo booth. There was also face painting, caramel-apple making, pumpkin painting, squash bowling, prize raffling and, of course, pie throwing.

Last year, pumpkin painting was the most successful activity, Lewis said. This year, however, students could hardly wait to smash a pie in an RA’s face, he added.

The staff-generated event consisted of 11 student staff members in addition to two professional staff members, he said.

“We do, however, like to partner with other offices on campus, like Campus Rec[reation], Services for Students with Families [Deeda – Student Parent Services?] and the Residence Hall Association. Getting them involved helps our residents and exposes these other campus resources to the students who live with us,” Lewis added.


Freshmen Hannah Sun, Marina Kabot-Sturos and Shelly Montag talk to APSU’s campaign director, Chris Dollar.

The event welcomed all types of students, those who live on campus as well as those who commute.

Lewis believes that when students live on campus, they get a richer experience.

“There is an added benefit of community and the ability to supplement education by living with other like-minded people that you can really only get by living on campus,” he said.

University Housing and Residence Life strives to create events that benefit this sense of community and enable it to thrive, Lewis said.

However, the events are also meant to create a base of community for those students not living on campus, acknowledging the fact that most of the student body commutes.

Students at PSU with children also attended Thursday evening’s event.

“We have a lot of families on the west side of campus, and we love being able to give them a fun event to come to,” said UHRL volunteer Kristyn Crouse.

Lewis said events like this give student parents the “ability to be social with their peers while providing a fun atmosphere for their children.”

He also said that PSU’s more traditional students were able to “unwind and socialize with one another before [heading] home for the Thanksgiving holiday.”

There was only one major obstacle, which nearly caused the cancellation of this year’s Fall Fest. Fresh off the heels of organizing a haunted house, Lewis worried his staff might be overworked.

“At the beginning of the year, I actually gave them the option of not doing this program because of the haunted house, but because the RAs on this side of campus are so dedicated to building community and putting on really fun programs, they actually decided to continue with it,” he said.

A similar event is penciled in for next year.

“We’re really trying to create traditional programs that people come to expect and that our department is known for,” Lewis said.