Halloween and student safety

October 24, 2002 By John Lucas

Halloween celebrations are a student tradition at UW–Madison. But the combination of large crowds, costumes and alcohol make it a particularly important time for students to be aware of their own safety and the safety of their friends.

Here are some Halloween safety tips from campus safety and sexual assault prevention experts:

  • If you go out, go out with other people that you know and trust. Stay in a group and return home with the same people you went out with. Check in with each other throughout the night. Designate a meeting time and place in case you should get separated amid the crowds.
  • Realize that alcohol influences decision making and judgement. Discuss what your limits are and then how to best honor thosedecisions about the amount and type of alcohol you consume.
  • If you accept a beverage from someone, make sure that you know them, you’ve observed the drink being prepared and that you never leave it unattended. Also, bear in mind that any drink can be spiked with a drug. Exercise caution in any public setting with any beverage.
  • Be careful. Some people may take advantage of being unrecognizable in a Halloween costume. Make sure that you are in an environment where you can easily get help or get away from someone who is threatening your safety in any way.
  • Don’t wear a costume that inhibits or restricts your ability to see, flee or resist an attacker.
  • Don’t drink and drive. There are a variety of transportation services, including the campus bus (Safe Bus), the SafeWalk/SafeRide at 262-5000, Woman’s Transit Authority at 256-7233, and the local taxi services.
  • Lock your door at all times, including when you are sleeping.
  • Always carry photo identification and make sure your visiting guests carry your address and phone number with them in case they become incapacitated for any reason.
  • The police are only a phone call away. If you observe suspicious or criminal behavior or need immediate assistance, call 9-1-1. 9-1-1 calls from any pay phone are free.
  • Honor everyone’s right to live and feel safe in the Madison community. Look out for your friends and fellow students. If someone is in trouble, reach out and help them.