Friday, November 16, 2018

Cleo of Alpha Chi: Three Decades of Spooky Science

MARISA BERNER ’21

STAFF WRITER

For around 26 years, Trinity College has been hosting Halloween on Vernon, a yearly event where children go around to visit organizations on campus, and play games or activities and receive candy for their efforts.  The activities vary — this year, however, there was candy pong, a haunted house, face painting, and cookie decorating. AASA (Asian American Student Association) in particular helped kids to make candy sushi, and Alpha Chi Omega, one of the sororities on campus, hosted games such as cornhole and spider ring toss.  There was also “Spooky Science”, which was hosted by Cleo, one of the few organizations that has been participating in this event since the beginning, almost three decades ago now. The event consists of the members dressing up as powerful fortune tellers who need help making a potion that will help them see the future.  They enlist the children to help make the potion, complete with dry ice, dish soap, and food coloring. At the end of the activity, the fortune teller scoops up some of the bubbles from the potion, “foresees” a prophecy regarding some of the children there, and blows it lightly at them, at which point every child is handed some candy and heads off to another activity on Vernon Street.  According to the president of Cleo, Max Furigay, making sure the kids get involved and participate in the science experiment (choosing the color of the potion, adding ingredients and whatnot), results in them getting a lot more excited and enthusiastic when the sublimation or bubble evolution of the “potion” occurs, and makes the whole activity that much more dramatic, especially in the Cleo basement.  Furigay particularly enjoys the watching the dramatization occur, since most of the children have never seen the effects of dry ice before, but he also enjoys being part of a large even that all Greek houses now contribute to. For him, since the houses and varying organizations have such varying and diverse philanthropic endeavors, it is exciting to see them all come together and participate in such a fun event (Furigay also enjoys being able to eat all of the leftover candy that the kids don’t want).  The idea for Spooky Science is mostly due to the fact that there are a lot of chemistry majors in Cleo (they have dubbed themselves “Chemicleos”). This made it much easier to think of some chemistry-themed spooky activities that require only a little know-how and marginal support from the Chemistry department. So after starting the fortune telling event in 2015, they quickly were able to think of adding some dry ice and to fully flesh out the event in order to bring it to fruition. But as for the future, they are thinking about maybe adding a blacklight or some sort of light show to make it both more spooky and fascinating.  Nonetheless, for the kids, Halloween on Vernon is an enjoyable and entertaining event that has them get into the Halloween Spirit, as well as helping them obtain some much-needed candy.

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