By George Mauzy
Safety and traffic preparations kept disruptions to a minimum during Athens' annual Halloween street party, university officials said Friday.
"In general, the feeling is that the university's preparations and response were excellent," said Judy Piercy, assistant vice president of Student Affairs and director of residence life. "It was a long night, but I think it went as well as could be expected."
Terry Conry, associate vice president for finance and administration, said having more safety team volunteers on hand than in years past was a big help.
"It allowed us to have adequate backup when a team was called to help in another area," he said.
In addition to 98 safety team members patrolling campus, 85 employees were stationed at university residence halls to provide increased security. Ohio University Police Department officers and facilities and maintenance workers also worked extra hours over the Oct. 31 weekend.
Piercy said the biggest safety challenge on Saturday was managing the large crowds in the Mill Street student area, which often spilled into the street and made through street travel difficult.
"Since the sidewalks are small and the front yards were full, people had to walk in the street to move around," Piercy said. "Police officers did their best to keep the streets open for traffic by coming through periodically on cars, bikes and horses. I give them credit because they did all they could to keep the streets passable and when they were called to any sort of incident, they quickly responded."
The university hosted about 1,900 guests in the residence halls over the weekend. Each guest paid a $25 registration fee and was the responsibility of their host.
Piercy said the university spent approximately $90,000 on Halloween operations last year and although this year's expenditures have not been calculated, she said she expected a similar cost.