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So Listen: Staying safe on Halloween Weekend

Editor’s Note: The Post does not endorse or condone breaking the law.

All bobcats know that Halloween Weekend is one of the craziest and most fun weekends in Athens. Between the influx of out-of-towners coming and people who don’t usually go out but will because it’s a holiday, there will be a lot more people out than usual. As such, there will be a lot more law enforcement on duty to manage the increased crowd size.

While law enforcement officers and resident housing staff are simply doing their jobs this weekend, it’s important to do your job to not be one of the people they have to deal with.

Wristbands in dorms

Wristbands are required to get in dorms on Halloween Weekend. Most years, students who live in dorms can buy a single extra wristband for a guest. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, they are not doing that this year. I have overheard some conversations about sneaking guests in through windows or trying to find other ways to bypass this rule. My only advice for this is don’t. It’s not worth the trouble you would get in if you get caught, which you likely will. No one looks sneaky climbing through a window in the middle of campus.

Horses

On Halloween Weekend, there are always a lot of police officers out with their horses. Don’t pet the horses (unless you ask). You can be arrested for this; it is the equivalent of assaulting an officer. You can ask, but your best bet is to just steer clear, especially if you are underage and drinking.

Undercovers

There will be a lot of undercover police officers out this weekend. Last year on the corner of Mill Street and Kurtz Street, I watched people get arrested four different times in the course of half an hour. Always keep your guard up, and don’t do anything that will get you noticed, which leads to the next tip.

Open container

Open container is the reason most people will get arrested during Halloween. If you are leaving one party to go to another, pour out that White Claw for your own good. It sucks to waste a drink, but it sucks even worse to get arrested.

Parties

If you are throwing a party and law enforcement considers it a nuisance, they have the right to shut it down. If that is the case, in order to prevent yourself from getting a $150 fine, it’s your job to make sure everyone who does not live on the premises leaves. Your best bet is to try to keep your party under control so you can stay spooky all night long.

Parking and tickets

This weekend, many of the parking lots that are usually free on the weekends will not be. Campus parking lots will be closed to the public beginning Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. through Oct. 31 at 7 a.m. Tickets issued during that time will consist of a $150 fine and will not be eligible for appeal. That’s a pretty hefty fine compared to the usual $30 ticket, so be sure to not park where you aren’t permitted.

Out-of-towners

There will be a lot of people here visiting for the big weekend. Typically, people who aren’t usually in Athens don’t know how a weekend here works. Because of this, those people are more likely to cause a ruckus, be it on purpose or accidentally. Just keep an eye out, and be wary of anyone who seems like they want to start trouble, as there will be more of those people here this weekend than usual. 

Drinking

This is a big weekend for drinking. OU is known for its large amount of consumption on Halloween. It is important to know your limits; just because your brain knows it’s a big weekend doesn’t mean your liver does. 

It’s also important to be aware of how to stay safe if you are underage (you can check out tips for that here). The most important thing to remember is to keep your drink close to you, and be aware of any changes to it. If you set your drink down and come back to it, you need to assume it is no longer safe to drink. If you notice cloudiness or bitter taste to your drink, throw it out. Spiked drinks are something we shouldn’t have to worry about but, unfortunately, we do.

Halloween weekend is one of the most fun weekends in Athens. Make sure it stays that way by not getting yourself in any legal trouble or personal danger. As always, stay safe, and party hard, Bobcats. 

Mikayla Rochelle is a graduate student studying public administration at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch

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