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Thursday, Nov 27, 2014

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Common sense and vigilance encouraged Halloween weekend


Halloween weekend is typically one of the biggest events in Athens. While Ohio University does not sponsor or endorse the festivities, the safety of OHIO students and community members is always the highest priority.

“Although this is not a University-sanctioned event, Ohio University organizes preventive measures to help ensure the safety of our students and our property due to the size of the event,” said Associate Director for Residential Education Judy Piercy.

Those celebrating in Athens can take steps to protect themselves and ensure they have a safe and fun evening.

“The three words that I would use are: Make good choices,” advised Ohio University Chief of Police Andrew Powers. “Really, we encourage all of the things Halloween weekend that we would any other weekend. But even more so Halloween weekend, just because so many people will be here in town.”

Powers emphasized three safety tips: stay with a group of friends and do not wander off from that group. Powers also encourages students to make ‘low-risk’ choices when it comes to alcohol consumption, such as not drinking to the point of intoxication.

In efforts to maintain safety, all members of the Ohio University Police Department (OUPD) will be on duty during Halloween weekend, as well as additional officers from surrounding areas.

On both nights, door watchers will be appointed at residence hall entrances, and on Saturday night, University volunteers called “Green Jackets” will do rounds on campus and Mill Street.

Green Jackets
are volunteers from Ohio University who patrol in pairs from 9:30 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. Their duties include serving to keep high-risk behavior to a minimum and offering assistance to those in need on Halloween.

All guests of students who live in the residence halls must be pre-registered in their host’s hall. Guests are required to wear wristbands that state their name, hall and room number.

According to Piercy, security measure like these are important in case an intoxicated guest is lost or in trouble. Green Jackets can help the person to ensure that they make it to their friend’s residence hall safely.

Piercy offered a final tip for staying safe Halloween weekend: vigilance.

“I’m not asking people to be paranoid, just to be aware of simple things. When you bring this many non-students to the University, it’s reasonable to be hyper vigilant about your safety.”

Safety tips for Halloween weekend

* Stay with a group of people that you know and trust. Do not wander around the city alone.

* If choosing to drink, do so responsibly and do not accept drinks from strangers.

* Carry a student ID and a state-issued ID at all times.

* Know how to contact and identify a real law enforcement official or university official.

* Protect the security of residence halls by respecting the hall rules and not propping doors or letting in strangers.