Halloween is one of the largest social events of the fall semester, with “spooky season” being a favorite among Gonzaga students. Midterms wrap up the week before, allowing students the opportunity to relieve some stresses caused by various exams. With Halloween falling on a Thursday this year, the “Halloweekend” has the potential to begin a day early.
Halloweekend, as with any holiday, carries a connotation of alcohol consumption on college campuses. Gonzaga’s Campus Security and Public Safety office wants to remind students to take safe measures if they choose to celebrate.
“If you are over 21 and choosing to drink, do so responsibly,” Phillip Tyler, a CSPS crime prevention and education officer, said in an email. “Never accept a beverage — beer, cocktail or even water or soda — from someone you don’t know. Never leave your drink unattended. If you step away for even a few seconds, get a new beverage.”
Even though some students may be over the legal drinking age, Halloween can still be celebrated without alcohol.
“With Halloween in particular, we want people to be safe. That’s the priority,” said Morgan Graves, a resident assistant in Corkery Apartments. “Also, know that you don’t have to drink. Don’t let people peer pressure you into it.”
There are a multitude of events going on during the weekend that students can choose to attend rather than going out to Halloween parties. One example is the Gonzaga department of theatre and dance’s production of “Romeo and Juliet,” which opens in the Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center on Nov. 1 and runs throughout the weekend.
Safe drinking tips are not the only advice CSPS offered to the Zag community for Halloween. The department has been posting daily safety tips to their official Facebook page leading up to Oct. 31.
“Halloween Tip 1: Choose your Halloween costume wisely,” said a Facebook post on Friday. “If you’re going to dress up, make sure you wear something that is easy to move in and doesn’t impair your vision.”
While topical memes and favorite movie characters are usually the biggest inspirations for costume choices, CSPS’s tip did help influence some GU students with the difficult selection.
“This year I’m going to dress up as the mom from “Mean Girls’,” said Brynn Williams, a junior at GU. “Not only is she my favorite character from that movie, but it’s also a bright pink sweat suit which means I’ll be visible at night.”
Halloween also comes at the tail-end of what is widely known as the “red zone” by campus officials, which is during the first two months of the school year and is the timeframe in which most situations involving sexual assault and misconduct occur.
“It’s good to plan ahead. It’s good to know who you’re going to be around and to prepare for that,” Graves said. “It is also important to remember that no matter what you’re wearing, it doesn’t give anyone an excuse to treat you any differently. As Gonzaga students, we should be looking out for each other.”
Looking out for each other is a main safety concern during this time of year. CSPS reminded the students of the importance of sticking together.
“Use the buddy system,” said Tyler. “Make a pact to arrive and leave together, and keep tabs on each other all evening. If you must walk home after dark, walk with at least one other person and stay on a well-lit path.”
Ultimately, if any situation develops that makes Zags feel unsafe, CSPS would rather the students be safe than sorry.
“On Halloween or any other night, trust your gut instinct,” Tyler said. “If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, get yourself and your friends out of there.”
If students feel in danger at any point this weekend, call Campus Security & Public Safety at (509)-313-2222.