Ashley Newman | Staff Writer
Dressing up, fun parties and watching scary movies are just some of the many things that make Halloween such a thrilling holiday. However, Halloween can quickly become even scarier when the party gets cut short because someone needs to be rushed to the emergency room.
The Duquesne Police Department, or DuPo, is always concerned with campus safety. Duquesne’s Chief of Police Tom Hart explained that DuPo remains vigilant by regularly patrolling the streets of and around campus in marked vehicles and patrolling the rest of campus on bicycles and on foot.
DuPo takes extra precaution around Halloween for a variety of reasons. Between the long weekend, the parties surrounding Halloween and the number of underage students in attendance, it is no wonder that DuPo is concerned with keeping students as safe as possible.
Hart explained that in his opinion, alcohol abuse and drugs are the biggest concern for students.
“Not all students understand the negative and sometimes life-altering impact that illegal or careless behaviors involving illegal drugs and alcohol abuse can have on them,” Hart said.
Hart has seen many Halloweens having worked in law enforcement on college campuses for 36 years. Unfortunately, no university, including Duquesne, is entirely safe from substance abuse, especially around holidays like Halloween.
“Duquesne students are highly motivated and focused, but there will be a few cases involving alcohol that require intervention,” Hart explained. “And sometimes they may require medical treatment at a hospital.”
Binge-drinking is a serious concern that many college students do not consider when attending parties. Binge-drinking, defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, is described as five or more drinks for males and four or more for females in two hours. This also correlates to a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% (the legal limit in Pennsylvania) or higher.
To stay safe on Halloween, Hart suggests that all students act as responsible friends and watch out for each other. If you are concerned about your friend, do not hesitate to call for help.
“Understand the Good Samaritan law that allows for people to summon medical assistance from First Responders like the Duquesne University Department of Public Safety when people need to be protected from themselves when involved in high risk behaviors,” Hart said.
The Good Samaritan law allows someone to contact medical help for another person without getting in trouble for being intoxicated themselves.
In addition to Chief Hart’s advice, Duquesne’s Vice President for Student Life, Doug Frizzell, sent a mass email to every student with additional safety tips.
Some of these tips include staying in well-lit areas where there are a lot of people, being aware of your surroundings, using the buddy system and following your instincts. As well, don’t forget to always confirm your Uber driver’s identity and let your family or friends know where you are, where you are going and when you have arrived.
Another helpful tip from Frizzell is to be familiar with the Campus Escort Service. Duquesne offers a 24-hour service that all students can use to get around campus. To utilize this, call (412) 396-6002.
Aside from the escort service, Duquesne’s Student Government Association also offers loop buses. These buses go to and from campus to Oakland, the Waterfront and the Southside and leave every 30 minutes, 45 minutes and 60 minutes respectively.