The Chronicle’s View: Take advantage of the holiday season: a time to give to those who need it

Many people complain that holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah and Valentine’s Day exist simply to pander to capitalism. Year after year, people harp on the commercialization of several of these long-standing traditions.

But this Halloween, several campus organizations proved that holidays could be about more than candy and presents.

We hear about the poor all the time, and the giving message sometimes becomes clich, especially during the holiday season.

But, in fact, this time of the year gives us all an opportunity to reflect on all the people who may slip our minds during the rest of the year.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to buy snazzy costumes and party-hop or go trick-or-treating on Halloween, and the U has noticed.

The Social Work Student Association, the Union Programming Council, the Officer’s Circle houses, the Associated Students of the University of Utah, Greek Row and various other groups on campus made a dedicated, proactive effort to help children whose lives are not always simple enough to be able to worry about what they’re going to dress up as for Halloween months in advance.

These groups helped parents give their children a fun Halloween and also took on the guardian role for some children whose parents could not help them celebrate the holiday.

Recognizing that the U has the manpower and desire to help the needy and spread this positive spirit to the greater community took a great group effort on several fronts.

The spirit of caring is alive and well at the U, and this Halloween was just a single instance in which it manifested itself through carnivals, trick-or-treating and several other selfless celebrations.

Many campus organizations are, and more should be, committed to these acts of kindness on a year-round, continual basis.

It is admirable for such groups to act as mentors for the young and aides to the old.

We are all fortunate enough to attend or work for this great institution, and we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to share our wealth with those who are less fortunate than we are.

The U is a flagship institution and should continue to act in a manner that will set the tone for all colleges and universities to follow in our giving footsteps.

Those groups that portrayed such dedication this holiday season should be lauded, and students who were not a part of these various activities should be encouraged to find out how they can get involved and break the norm of the holiday season.

Make these coming holidays about caring, not commercialism.