With Halloween falling on a Wednesday, the general consensus is that there are two weekends of partying in costume. But with all the fun that comes with Halloween — the parties, costumes, nights out and spooky accessories — there can also be some anxiety surrounding the prospect of a big weekend.
“I think it’s more exciting, just personally for me,” Katie Corbino, a junior elementary education major, says. “I know it can be very anxiety-provoking, I’ve had friends who don’t want to be caught up in everyone else’s excitement, but I think it’s more exciting. I like going out and having a good time.”
Most people interviewed feel like Corbino — excited for the weekends, for wearing costumes and going out. But for some, especially underclassmen, these new endeavors and unchartered territories can be intimidating.
Hanna Murphy, a senior biology education major, is a Promoters of Wellness peer educator through Student Wellness and Health Promotion at the university. She advocates for the university resources that can mitigate some of these anxieties.
“Harm reduction is our focus,” Murphy says. “We never say, ‘No, don’t go to a party, don’t drink, don’t dress the way you want.’ We say, ‘You want to do that, and that might be a risky situation so here’s what you can do to keep yourself safe and keep you friends safe.’”
There are many resources and tips for having a safe night. Protocols like Medical Amnesty and Alcohol Amnesty are designed to prevent students from getting hurt. If you report an instance of sexual misconduct and it occurred while you were intoxicated, you will automatically receive amnesty. University students can also use their resident assistant as a resource, as well as the Center for Counseling and Student Development in Perkins Student Center. The university also offers access to the Sexual Offense Support Victim Advocates by calling the UD Helpline at 302-831-1001 and pressing 1.
“We always tell people to travel in groups, have a plan for getting home and, if you have to spend 10 dollars on an Uber, it’s better to do that and make sure you and your friends get home safe than to have something happen,” Murphy says.
The university offers alternatives for Halloweekend, like Perkins Live and Trabant Now if people are looking for other ways to spend their weekends. And the University of Delaware Police Department and the Newark Police Department will be out and about making sure that the university is safe.
“In my experience, I’ve never seen anything overly stupid happen over Halloweekend,” Steven Sprofera, a senior criminal justice major, says. “It’s usually well policed and people are well taken care of. It’s usually a group thing and people don’t go out alone.”
Halloween is described by countless students as their “favorite holiday,” and the university protections offered are purposed to make students feel safer and better as they approach these exciting weekends.
“If you want to do whatever you want, do whatever you want. Wear whatever you want,” Murphy says. “No matter what you you’re wearing, no matter what you’re doing, have a safe plan to either get home or get help.”
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