Pumpkin update

By: Makenzie Huber

After a hefty battle of the great pumpkins, Information Exchange has finally announced the winners of the Union “jack”-o-lantern contest Monday, Nov. 3.

Judging for the winners of the ‘Most Spooktacular’ and ‘Most Jacked’ pumpkin took place from Oct. 29 to 31. Students were able to vote for their favorite pumpkins at Information Exchange.

Awarded the ‘Most Jacked’ pumpkin was the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a professional student organization whose purpose is to help students through their college careers and into the engineering workforce. The jack-o-lantern they entered was designed on the largest pumpkin submitted for the contest.

This enormous pumpkin was lent to the organization by junior Sheldon Walters, a civil engineering major, who grows and carves giant pumpkins as a hobby.  

The carving of the pumpkin was also carried through by Walters, but was suggested by the student chapter leadership, which included senior civil engineering major Timothy Shepherd. The design took around six hours according to Shepherd.

Shepherd thought the contest was a great way to share the organization’s enthusiasm.

“The most enjoyable part for us was bringing the pumpkin into the Union and seeing the reactions of everyone around at the time,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd is also grateful for the award for ASCE’s pumpkin.

“We are happy that the people who saw [our pumpkin] before it collapsed thought it was worthwhile enough to vote for,” Shepherd said regarding ASCE’s pumpkin that caved in a couple days into the judging time. “At the same time we were disappointed that it did not last the entire time the entrants were on display. The biggest lesson learned was do not gut the pumpkin any earlier than necessary, so it will hopefully look amazing the entire time.”

Awarded the ‘Most Spooktacular’ pumpkin was created by State-A-Thon, a fundraiser put on annually for the Children’s Miracle Network. Their design consisted of the State-a-thon balloon made out of candy corn.

Senior Nathan Langston, a human development and pre-occupational therapy major, took the lead role in designing the organization’s jack-o-lantern.

Langston chose to use the balloon as the main symbol because it is unique to State-A-Thon.

“We really want to get the symbol out and make sure people know about it,” Langston said.

Langston was inspired to use candy corn for the balloon because he had seen a pumpkin that was decorated in all candy corn at a local nursing home.

State-A-Thon participated in the Union “jack”-o-lantern contest in other years, but this year was a first for Langston. Next year, Langston plans to be more extravagant with his carvings. He believes the contest was a success and that it was a good way for students to be involved in the Halloween spirit on campus.

“It’s fun to see all of the different pumpkins getting turned in,” Langston said.

Langston works at Information Exchange and saw many organizations turn in their pumpkins. “A lot of people come up and they’re just so excited about what they’ve done. It’s a good way to get students involved—to vote and to look at the pumpkins.”

Langston is honored by the award of ‘Most Spooktacular’ pumpkin and is looking forward to more opportunities to spread awareness about State-A-Thon.

“We are thrilled as a board that the awareness of State-A-Thon is growing on campus and the little things we are doing on campus is helping us out as an organization,” Langston said. “Winning this contest makes us very excited for the Festival of Trees in December as we start to brainstorm ideas for decorations we can do.”

Now that the Union “jack”-o-lantern contest has passed, many organizations are turning their heads toward the Christmas tree decorating contest in The Union this December. State-A-Thon plans on participating in this event as well.

“I think that student organizations should get more involved in things like [the Union “jack”-o-lantern contest],” Langston said. “I know Information Exchange has a Christmas tree decorating as well before finals, and it’s a good way to decorate a tree and get your organization known on campus. State-A-Thon will be going all out for it.”