Archives—October 2012

Fall Festivities

Fall is in full swing and that means that Halloween is almost upon us! The chill in the air, the dry rustling of the leaves skidding across the sidewalks of campus, and the lengthening nights are setting a great stage for Michigan Tech students to prepare for some frightening and fun Tech traditions. Coming up this weekend will be the highlight of Halloween at Michigan Tech, Safehouse! I’ll go into more detail about that event a bit later in this post. First, I’d like to share with you some of the other great events that are happening this week to get everyone in the pumpkin-designing, candy-experimenting, and costume-engineering spirit of the season.

Fun Events

This past Friday brought pumpkin carving to the McNair Dining Hall, where students could create their very own masterpieces to spruce up their rooms and kick-off the festivities. On Saturday, Safehouse BINGO took over the Wadsworth Hall Annex to make sure that everyone was stocked up on sugary treats for the holiday. In fact, over $500 worth of candy was ready to be won by lucky student players! On Tuesday, October 23, there will be delicious caramel apples on offer during dinner in the Wadsworth Hall Dining Hall. On Friday, October 26 students can sport their costume creations at a Costume Dance Party in the Douglass Houghton Hall Ballroom. There will be great music, drinks and snacks, and many great times and memories to be made! Finally, on Saturday, October 27 Safehouse will come to the residence halls of Michigan Tech.


Safehouse logo

Saturday, October 27, the preparations and week-long festivities all come together in the form of Safehouse. Safehouse has been a Michigan Tech campus tradition since 1988. Each year, on the last Saturday of October, students transform their residence halls into fun and spooky destinations for public tours. The community is invited to visit the halls and experience all of the hard work that the students have put into the event. Student tour guides from the halls lead the groups through different tour routes. There are both fun (for younger children) and scary (for those who are not faint of heart) tour routes to provide fun times for everyone. The halls are decorated to fit into these categories, so those that do the fun routes tend to have funny and colorful decorations. The houses that choose to do the scary category tend to be more intense, with dark lighting, loud sounds, and plenty of dramatic acting. At the end of it all, Inter Residence Hall Counsel (IRHC) members judge which hall has the best decorations and the hall that wins gets a great prize! Safehouse is an awesome event that connects campus to the community and really gets everyone into the Halloween spirit!

As always, I’d love to hear questions, comments, or concerns! Please feel free to post a comment or email directly at

Until next week,

Students Giving Back

Halfway there
In case you haven’t been keeping count, it’s already week 7 of the semester! That means that my fellow students and I can celebrate that we’ve made it to the halfway mark, as each semester lasts 14 weeks.

A needed pick-me-up
For many of us, Homecoming and Family Weekend was the perfect refresher to power through the second half of the term. The always-exciting football game did anything but disappoint this year, as the Huskies football team made a huge comeback to defeat Northwood University. In fact, the score was 21-7 at half-time, leaving the field looking bleak for Michigan Tech. However, with a final score of 28-21, the second half was quite a spectacle.

Students who aren’t so big on sports had plenty of excitement as well! From the Homecoming Parade that took over downtown, to the great turnout at the cardboard boat races, it seemed that everyone was full of Husky spirit this weekend. While walking around downtown on Saturday afternoon, I noticed that main street was bustling with people enjoying one of the last few snow-free days we have left and checking out the shopping opportunities of Houghton.  I hope some of you were able to make a trip to the area to enjoy some of the events of Homecoming and Family Weekend with your students.

Giving back
Coming up at the end of this month will be another amazing tradition for the Michigan Tech community called Make A Difference Day. The event was created by USA WEEKEND magazine to promote neighbors helping neighbors. This is a community-wide event that allows students to help out people in the area by working on diverse service projects for those in need. Last year, 338 students from campus banded together to take on projects like cleaning up community beaches, helping out at the Copper Country Humane Society, and working at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Make A Difference Day is a great way for Michigan Tech students to give back to the community and to show their appreciation for the beautiful Houghton/Hancock area. Students can sign up to volunteer on an individual basis or as part of a student organization.

Students working to make a difference

I’m personally volunteering as part of the Standathon Student Organization and I can’t wait to find out which project our group will be assigned! I’ve had a great time with Make A Difference Day in the past and I know this year will not disappoint. It’s always a rewarding experience to make a difference in the lives of others, even it’s just for a few hours on a Saturday. Community service is a great way to take a break away from campus and explore a side of college life that isn’t academics.

From my own experience, I’ve learned a lot of great lessons about teamwork and philanthropy from volunteering at various community events. It’s also a great way to meet new people and hang out with friends while being a part of something that is worthwhile and valuable.

Until next week,

Homecoming 2012

Students marching in the 2011 Homecoming Parade

This weekend was the official start of a treasured Michigan Tech tradition; Homecoming. The week-long series of events started this past Saturday, October 6 with an exciting on-ice showdown in which the Michigan Tech hockey team defeated Brock University at the MacInness Ice Arena here on campus. During the game’s half-time, this year’s Homecoming court members were announced.

Throughout the rest of this week, there will be a ton of awesome events for students to participate in. On Monday, there will be music to kickoff the week’s celebrations, as well as the distribution of the Homecoming cups at the Memorial Union Building. The kickball championship games will be be held on Tuesday afternoon on the fields near the Student Development Complex (SDC). Wednesday will bring the Homecoming Court dinner at the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC). The homecoming games, which are a series of competitive events including tug of war and the Minute to Win It games, will take place on Thursday.

Friday is the start of Family Weekend, which you can read more about in a previous ParentNet post if you missed it! Hopefully some of you will make the trek to visit your student and take part in some of the great events. Also on Friday are the homecoming parade, pep rally, and my personal favorite, the cardboard boat races on the Portage Canal. Finally, the football game and the king and queen coronation will happen on Saturday, October 13.

The goal of Homecoming is to get everyone in the Husky spirit by providing an exciting and energetic atmosphere. I have participated in almost all of the Homecoming events in one way or another and I encourage you to remind your student to take part as well! It’s a great way for them to join their new friends and people from their residence hall to have a great time and become part of a beloved Michigan Tech tradition.

To find out more about the events that will be going on during this week, check out the event schedule. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please feel free to post a comment or send me an email (

Until next week!

Hi there ParentNet!

This is me, on the peak of Silver Mountain in Baraga, MI

My name is Travis Gendron and I am excited to introduce myself as your new ParentNet weekly writer! I know that Samantha did an excellent job with keeping you up-to-date and informed about all of the things happening on the Michigan Tech campus and in the community and I’m happy to get the chance to take on this task.

First off, I’d like to tell you all a little about who I am and the things that I do at Michigan Tech. I’m a fourth year Communication, Culture, and Media major from Norway, MI, which is a small town about two hours south of Houghton in the U.P. I’m also pursuing minors in Spanish and Journalism, which i think complement my degree nicely.

I’ll be graduating at the end of this year, and I’m planning to attend graduate school for Public Relations/Health Communications. I’m still looking at graduate schools and preparing for the GRE, so this is a pretty busy semester for me!

Aside from my classes and graduate school preparations, I’ve been very involved on campus through different student organizations and jobs. I’m the secretary of the Stand-A-Thon Student Organization and the Michigan Tech Student Foundation, a member of Blue Key National Honors Society, and am a member of the Orientation Advisory Board; I work as a writing coach in the Multiliteracies Center, a student writer for University Marketing and Communications, a mentor for the ExSEL program. This past year, I was the Publications Coordinator for the Orientation Executive Staff where I did the writing and editing for many of the orientation materials that were sent out.

When I first arrived at Michigan Tech, I never imagined that I would get the chance to do all of the things that I’ve done. I chose to come to Michigan Tech because I loved growing up in the U.P. and was excited to find that such a great school was located near my hometown. I was drawn by all of the great opportunities and resources that are available to students, as well as by the awesome natural beauty of the Keweenaw.

In my free time (yes I manage to squeeze some in between the above activities), I enjoy running, biking, hiking and exploring, cooking, and writing. I’ve also met some great friends to share these activities with during my time at Michigan Tech and spending time with them is definitely up there on the list as well!

Well I hope this introduction has given you at least somewhat of an idea of who I am. I’m really excited to act as your virtual ambassador to campus and all of the great things that go on here, so send me an email at if you have any questions or comments. See you all next week!