October Lovers prospers from seasonal cheer

Corn+in+corn+field+on+Saturday+in+Rantoul%2CIL%2C+Oct+15%2C2016.

Emma Li

Corn in corn field on Saturday in Rantoul,IL, Oct 15,2016.

By Sam Schrage, Contributing Writer

When Zachary Herrmann founded the October Lovers club nearly 11 years ago he had no idea of the lasting impact it would have on the University.

Over a decade later, the club is thriving on campus with nearly 6,000 October Lovers on the club’s mailing list, making it one of the largest organizations on campus.

However, October Lovers has not always been the massive club it is today.

“Membership has skyrocketed in the past couple years. We at least doubled in size, maybe even tripled in size last year. We’re all about inviting as many people out as possible,” said Pat Sullivan, senior in Engineering and Apparel Chair for October Lovers Club.

With activities ranging from barn dance to bonfire, October Lovers meets exclusively in the month of October and serves the sole purpose of spreading October cheer.

One of the reasons the club may be so popular is the stress relief it brings students during the hectic semester.

“I think October is a really stressful month academically; it’s like the full swing of school hits you. I feel like October Lovers gives the students the opportunity to kind of just break away and do something just purely fun. I like to say it’s a stress relief to go to a haunted house or barn dance with everyone,” said Carly Simonaitis, senior in AHS and President of October Lovers Club.

October Lovers Club is also a great way for students that share the same interests to come together and participate in fall activities.

“I decided to join because there was a lot of people I knew already in it and also people I can meet through it,” said Katie Castillo, freshman in LAS. “It’s a necessity. You can’t go through all of fall and not have a bonfire or not go to a pumpkin patch.”

One reason the social aspect of the club is why Sullivan has continued to be on the executive board for three years.

“I really enjoy meeting new people at our events. I love talking to new people, and I’ve made a bunch of friends through it,” Sullivan said.

One of the many benefits to the club is the short time commitment it requires. To be considered an October Lover, one can attend as many or as few events as they please. Events include a bonfire, a trip to Curtis Apple Orchard, Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch moonlit corn maze, a haunted house, barn dance and, a new edition this year, a bar crawl.

Event attendance ranges anywhere from 250 October Lovers to 1,300 October Lovers in attendance at this year’s kickoff bonfire.

The club has certainly made an enormous impact on the University and has made the transition into fall a little livelier around campus. October Lovers are quick to share their favorite part of the club and what it brings to the University.

“I think it’s spreading October cheer to everyone because everyone gets really excited about it and if you talk about October Lovers they kind of light up. So my favorite part is the happiness it brings,” Simonaitis said.

Simonaitis said she likes October because the campus is really pretty. The leaves start to change colors, the weather cools down and she said October Lovers Club is the perfect way to celebrate all of the changes going on around campus.

“October Lovers is a club for anyone and everyone. It’s all based around people’s needs and making the most of October,” Sullivan said.

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