This past weekend, the Association of Student-Athletes presented a “trunk or treat” event open to the Goshen community.

The RFC was transformed into a family-friendly Halloween party full of balloons, glow sticks, music and laughter. As the kids walked in through the main entrance, they were greeted by athletes and given glow sticks. They then made their way through a tunnel of balloons and faux spiderwebs as they entered the gym. Inside the gym, teams set up booths that portrayed their sport. Kids were able to shoot baskets, pitch, hit a baseball, hit targets with a soccer ball, high jump and race one another. The event hosted a number of families with children ranging from 1-13 years old. 

According to adviser Rustin Nyce, “ASA is a connection between athletes and administration which is made up of one coach-appointed team leader from each team. … The athletes name and problem-solve issues and strive to build Goshen College athletic traditions.” 

The group was formerly known as SAAC, but was changed to align with the national work of the NAIA. Currently, the group is made up of 14 members — one representative from each men’s and women’s athletic team — and will be adding two more next year with the new bowling teams. 

Nyce said he has been “really impressed with the ownership this group has taken and the energy they have put into the tasks they create,” with the event this weekend as one example. 

Shea VanScoter, a junior softball player and president of ASA, came up with the idea for the event: “My coach said we needed a community service event and he thought of ‘trunk or treat,’ so we ran with the idea. … I talked to my people in ASA and we decided we could all have a station that became sports-specific.” 

Each team brainstormed their own booth with the goal of “creating a fun activity where the kids could be active and learn about the sport,” said Summer Cooper, the ASA representative from women’s cross country.

The event was open to the community, so athletes were able to create connections. For Anthony Roberts, a sophomore and vice president of ASA, “it was really engaging to see the fun we provided for the kids and their families … it’s really special.” Roberts thought that the event “was a great opportunity for us to connect with our community.”

Aside from creating community connections, Roberts noted that “teams are able to connect with each other more in a different way.”

Nyce said, “Our student-athletes are great leaders and have a passion for Goshen College athletics. Teams and coaches can be assured that their representatives are working hard to continue to improve the student-athlete experience.” 

The next order of business for ASA, according to Nyce, is “brainstorming an event for the spring semester.”