The Wichitan

Practice common sense safety tips on Halloween

Emma Labedis

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Halloween. A time for ghouls and goblins. And after dark shenanigans.

It’s also a time for students to be safety conscious both on campus and off.

“Some things that we suggest are making sure that you have your keys and your ID with you at all times,” Angie Reay, interim director of housing, said. “Especially if you live in a building that has card access, and not sharing your keys, keeping your doors locked at all times. If you do decide to go out at night, going with somebody, walking with somebody, on campus at night if you’re going to and from things.”

Other ideas that Reay explained are to go with friends to parties and not be in places that are unsafe. At this time it may be hard to distinguish what is a Halloween prank and what is an actual threat.

“Unfortunately the criminal element sometimes uses this time of year to more easily take advantage of victims,” Dan Williams, police chief, said. “We think it’s a hoax, a joke or a prank when in reality it could be a real situation.”

As well as being aware of the surroundings, traveling in groups or pairs is another thing both Williams and Reay suggested. The same safety tips that apply to year round days can help on Halloween as well.

“It doesn’t necessarily pertain to Halloween, it’s just generally for college students,” Reay said. “The biggest thing is going to places that they don’t know where they are, going to a friend’s of a friend of a friends party at an apartment or at a house.”

Williams recommends not traveling alone but if necessary, keeping a phone at the ready even though the campus has not had many crimes relating to Halloween.

“In this day and age it’s pretty easy for students to be in phone contact with someone,” Williams said. “If they do have to walk by themselves, get somebody on the line that they can talk to. At least there’s a second person who can overhear information if something bad happens.”

The past years have not seen any problems on campus during Halloween except for one event which occurred earlier this week. A student dressed in Spiderman costume sprayed silly string on students and professors during two classes at Bolin. Williams has asked for anyone to report information over this student.

“They could possibly be in line for a reward because interrupting classes and spraying people with silly string, if somebody takes offense to it, is a criminal assault and can be prosecuted criminally,” Williams said. “We would love to find out who the individual is and see whether we need to pursue criminal charges or administrative discipline charges through the student conduct process.”

With this week being full of both homecoming events as well as Halloween events, Reay said that she hopes there won’t be any issues during the festivities.

“There’s going to be plenty of activities and things going on,” Reay said. “As long as students are making the right decisions on being with friends, making smart choices, I don’t anticipate any issues. Hopefully they’re smart enough to make some right decisions.”

From the timing of events, there will be more people around for homecoming celebrations and the game.

“We’ll have more officers on patrol this weekend and at the ball games, but that’s about all we can do to prepare for it, to have more bodies available if something does occur,” Williams said. “We want a festive attitude and a spirited crowd for the ball game, but at the same time we need people to remain rational and adhere to the policies and the rules and regulations put in place.”

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The Student News Site of Midwestern State University
Practice common sense safety tips on Halloween