In hopes of ensuring the safety of Boston University students, Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore said he is promoting safe ways in which students can celebrate this Halloween weekend in contained environments.
For students looking to go out this Halloween weekend, Elmore said bars and restaurants are a safer choice for of-age students than off-campus house parties.
“People tend to look out for you in those types of places as opposed to these ad hoc things that you may do in your apartment and at your house or something like that,” he said. “… You just want to make sure that everyone’s thinking ‘safety, safety, safety’ as much as possible.”
Elmore said he posted a list on his blog about ways in which students can celebrate this Halloween weekend in a safe and enjoyable way. The list, titled “Halloween at Boston University,” includes suggestions for BU sponsored Halloween festivities, as well as BostInno magazine’s local suggestions for Thursday through Saturday night.
“What we’ve done is to say ‘look, we know you’re going out there. We [the Dean of Students office] want to show you some options that you have, and you have a lot of them in the city. And here are some examples of some things that might be useful for you,’” Elmore said.
The list of off-campus suggestions includes bars and pubs for students who are at least 21 years old. Elmore said he hopes students, who are of-age, will use the list when planning to visit public areas with contained celebrations.
“I think when you plan ahead of time, you are going to be more apt to be safe about what you do,” Elmore said. “Safety happens if you plan it before you need to.”
Elmore said this is the first year he has provided this list of suggestions to students. He said the intentions of this list are less about inviting students out, and more about helping students coordinate their plans in advance.
Pat Dillon, general manager of Tavern in the Square, a popular bar for BU students, said maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment is always priority for the Tavern’s management.
“We will have anywhere from 10 to 12 members of our security team as well as two to three managers on all three nights,” Dillon said. “Their main objective is to ensure that our guests have a safe and care-free environment.”
The Tavern will not allow unsafe costumes accessories that obstruct sight of guests’ faces on Thursday, Dillon said.
“We ask that our guests keep in mind we have to be able to make out their face, or they will not be allowed entry,” Dillon said. “Underage drinking is something we take very seriously and we must be able to clearly identify everyone.”
Sarah Walker, general manager of Sweet Caroline’s Bar and Restaurant, said college students typically make up a large portion of guests on Halloween night. She said she may add extra security on Halloween if there is a Red Sox game, but otherwise the bar will run similarly to a typical weekend night.
“We double check IDs and monitor how much alcohol a person is consuming,” Walker said. “We also would have security on board to help monitor crowds and unruly guests.”
Cody Rodgers, a College of Engineering junior, said the list posted to the dean’s blog might not have an effect on where student choose to celebrate on Halloween.
“I think it [the list] a good idea, but I just don’t think it will work because the allure of going to a house party or something like that is better than going to a safe event,” Rodgers said.
Dalia McKenzie, a School of Education freshman, said although the Dean’s blog post may be helpful, many people already have their plans set for the weekend.
“I think it’s a good idea, I just don’t know how many people would actually use it,” McKenzie said. “I feel like if people are set on doing one thing, they will [go there] anyway.”
Leila Mohaideen, a College of Arts and Sciences freshman, said she thinks Elmore’s list will be useful to students who plan on going out this holiday weekend.
“I think it’s better than people roaming around,” Mohaideen said. “I think it’s safer in that respect. It’s a very generation-appropriate way of getting the word out.”