In what has become an annual fall tradition, Residence Life recently hosted Monster Mash on Friday, Oct. 27, drawing over 1,000 children and their families to the Cook Campus Recreation Center.

Now in its 14th year, Monster Mash is an outreach program that offers a service opportunity for Rutgers students while creating a safe alternative trick-or-treating experience to families within the communities that surround the university.

This year, Monster Mash recruited over 90 student organizations and nearly 150 volunteers. In addition to handing out candy, student organizations helped staff tables with interactive activities and themed games.

“A huge part of Residence Life’s mission is to give back to the community,” said Campbell Hall Director and Monster Mash committee member Maggie Muller. “We have resident assistants and the Residence Hall Association here tonight representing their halls. We’re just trying to give back to the entire community that we represent.”

Arriving as early as 1:30 p.m., volunteers helped decorate the recreation center and outdoor tent spaces while setting up the main stage, tables and chairs. Led by residence life coordinator John Leciejewski, the Monster Mash planning committee coordinated with surrounding elementary schools, organized volunteer registration, training, and check-in.

“I would definitely do this again next year,” said first-time student volunteer Renuka Venkatesh. “Not even for hours or recognition. It was just nice talking to everyone, from the volunteers and coordinators, to the kids and their parents. It was great seeing everyone so happy and so united at Rutgers.”