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Rego: Enjoy a sexual assault-free Halloween

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the following column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the views of The Collegian or its editorial board.

For college students, Halloween is quite possibly one of the greatest holidays of the year. It’s a chance to dress up as something fun or scary, get out of your comfort zone, eat lots of candy, watch scary movies and, of course, party hard.

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However, there are a lot of safety concerns that come with “Halloweekend.” Colorado State University issues a warning newsletter every year to caution students about staying safe.

Costumes and masks might have people feeling more risqué or more confident that they can do whatever they want and be able to get away with it by hiding under their mask.

The University states that Halloweekend accounts for 5-7% of all cases that go through the Student Conduct System and that more than 50% of college campus sexual assaults occur in the fall months (August, September, October, November).

A study conducted by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research confirmed that sexual assaults occur mostly at night, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Another study by the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center states that sex crimes of all types accounted for about 1% of all Halloween crimes compared to vandalism and property destruction.

Halloween is meant to be a time to let our spirits rise and have some fun. Let’s not ruin it with ghoulish crimes and have a sexual assault-free time.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to stay vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from sexual assault and follow some safety tips during your festivities. 

Never go out alone. Halloween occurs on a Thursday this year, and Thursdays are typically Ram Band nights. This means an even greater number of people will be at the bars. If you can, bring a sober friend with you to watch your back.

Never leave your drink unattended or take a drink from a stranger. Any number of party drugs could be in that cocktail, so it’s best to play it safe. Buy your own drinks, keep your own drinks directly in front of you for full visibility and never put down your drink.

Never leave somewhere with someone you don’t know without notifying a friend. Even if you’re at a house party and going into the next room over with someone else you just met, tell someone so that they know your location.

Always keep your phone charged and nearby. Even if you yourself don’t need to call 911, you can report and document crimes you see. If you see something, say something. 

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Halloween is meant to be a time to let our spirits rise and have some fun. Let’s not ruin it with ghoulish crimes and have a sexual assault-free time.

Rams take care of Rams.

Shay Rego can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @shay_rego.

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