As Halloween weekend approaches, students will dress up in their choice of costume and head downtown or to a local party. With all the fun going on, the NMU Police Department (NMUPD) and the Dean of Students Office (DOS) encourage students to take a safe and cautious approach this upcoming holiday weekend.
Although Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, NMUPD Sergeant Jon Kovar said the weekend before the holiday is one of the busiest weekends of the school year for emergency and safety services.
“We usually put on extra officers for safety reasons such as call response, and we usually have extra officers staffed on those nights,” Kovar said. “We have some peaks in crimes that we see especially on move-in, Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day weekends, especially with the spike in alcohol-related incidents.”
The DOS offers a few tips to students who are to have a safe Halloween event. The most important suggestion is to go to a party with a group, and to never leave a party alone. They also said to use the “trust your instincts” method. For example, if students do not feel comfortable at a specific setting, then “trust your instincts,” and leave.
“If you plan on going out, it’s best to make a plan for the evening,” assistant Dean of Students Haley Rhoades said. “We want everyone to make good decisions and safe choices because we ultimately want people to be safe.”
Kovar recommends that all students, underage or older, should tell someone if they are heading out on those nights.
“It’s good that you have friends to go with, but at the very least, what you should do is notify people if you have plans, such as your friend, your roommate or your significant other. Let somebody know before you head out,” Kovar said.
Kovar said the buddy system will also be useful with the possibility of snow at this time of year. The forecast is predicted to be in the mid-40s with a 60 percent chance of rain/snow mix.
“We have had snow on Halloween a couple times, so make sure you’re thinking of that,” Kovar said. “If you’re planning on walking home, be aware if it’s zero degrees and snowing out.”
For those who do not plan on going out to for Halloween, the DOS office has planned a few alternatives that will not involve alcohol.
The one major event includes a haunted house Friday Oct. 26 at the Coast Guard Station Marquette on Lakeshore Boulevard. The Haunted House is hosted and sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, NMU Student Veterans Association and ASNMU.
Other events on campus are Hallowfest, hosted by the Marquette After Dusk organization, and a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday. Both events will be held in Jamrich Hall. Also on Halloween weekend is the Sweeney Todd play on Oct. 25 to Nov. 2 in the Forest Roberts Theatre.
“Not everybody goes out on Halloween weekend,” Rhoades said. “There are a lot of things that you can do just to have fun in the scary season.”
The NMU Student Handbook states that if a person is found to be consuming alcohol or drugs on campus, they will be reported over to DOS, and be sanctioned either to social probation, a parent notification or completion of a substance abuse education class.
However, if there is a major incident reported with injuries, students can qualify for a exception such as medical amnesty. In order to have amnesty, medical action must take place at the time of the incident.
For more information regarding more safety tips and other Halloween events, please contact the NMUPD and the Dean of Students Office.