Olivia Hupp discusses ways for Bobcats to stay safe this HallOUween
This past weekend — for the first time in my college career — I went costume shopping.
I spent at least an hour perusing the racks of plastic-bagged outfits, their contents bared shamelessly by a myriad of attractive models on the front. But instead of experiencing the typical feeling of self-loathing as I came face-to-face with bodies, I considered ideal in comparison to my own — one of the main reasons I have avoided dressing up for Halloween for so many years — I began to think about the article I wrote for The Post my freshman year. It dealt with lighting on campus, or rather the lack of it, and keeping yourself safe during the HallOUween festivities in the dim spots.
I wanted to take a second to reiterate some of those points here, as well as a few others, to keep in mind as we prepare for the craziness of this upcoming weekend.
First of all, be aware of your surroundings. It is one of the most cliché pieces of advice that can be given under the circumstances, but it is important. Not everyone has the noblest of intentions during these large events; spotting the offenders before they can do any harm could save you or someone else from a potentially traumatizing experience. And if you see something suspicious or potentially hazardous, don’t be afraid to speak up.
Also in the vein of cliché advice: don’t travel alone. Go out in a group. Use the buddy system. This is doubly important if you are going to be traveling in some of the poorly-lit areas on and off-campus. Stick to the main routes and avoid alleyways or shortcuts. Sexual assault is a very real threat, even more so when you pair pretty girls in revealing clothes and copious amounts alcohol.
Next, make sure you have your housing and means of getting there squared away before you head out. There will be drinking and a lot of people might end up in places they never intended to be by the end of the night. If anything else, designate a non-drinking friend or someone who does not plan on heading uptown during the festivities to make sure you get where you need to be safely.
Do not drive while intoxicated. There will undoubtedly be a number of cabs out to provide transportation for those who need it. Utilize them. Having to retrieve your car from a lot the next morning or afternoon is much less inconvenient than getting arrested for a DUI. If all else fails, there will be plenty of law enforcement patrolling Court Street throughout the evening. They can also help you. However, I must urge you not to take this course of action if you are underage and drinking.
Lastly, if you plan on drinking, be aware of your intake. Enjoy yourself, but don’t overdo it. I don’t think you want to end your night in the hospital getting your stomach pumped. That’s a little extreme, but you catch my drift.
Be cautious, be respectful, and have fun! Happy HallOUween, Bobcats!
OLIVIA HUPP is a senior studying English literature and creative writing. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org