Halloween Safety

All Students
Julie I. Caruccio, Interim University Dean of Students

Dear Students:

I hope everyone is settling into a great semester and enjoying this wonderful fall weather! I'm reaching out to share with you some hopes that I have for you during the upcoming Halloween weekend, as well as provide some tips and resources to keep you healthy and safe.

Halloween Fun

Laser Tag and Movie. If you’re looking for some Halloween-themed fun on Saturday, October 30, the University Programs Council (UPC) is hosting “Mortals vs. Monsters” haunted laser tag in Slaughter Gym from 3-7 p.m. followed by a showing of “Halloween” in Newcomb Theater from 7:30-9:30 p.m. (popcorn and candy provided).

Film Festival. Check out the Virginia Film Festival schedule for an array of films on Grounds and in Charlottesville this weekend. Full-time students can attend most films for free through the UVA Art$ Program.

The Great Rotumpkin. Enjoy a bit of wonder, curiosity, and maybe a new shared experience or memory through projection mapping technology and art at the Rotunda, Friday through Sunday evenings, Oct. 29-31, 7-11 p.m.

Alcohol Usage

Because of the celebratory nature of Halloween and some of the anonymity of wearing a costume, some students find they may be using alcohol differently this weekend – either drinking for the first time or drinking more than usual. We are heartened that UVA students are doing their part to be active bystanders and intervening when they notice a potentially problematic situation. This is positive and absolutely critical.

Although the vast majority of students either don’t drink or are committed to drinking responsibly, we also know that students may come across someone who needs help.

Remember PUBS: Never hesitate to call 911, even if you are not certain it is an alcohol emergency, or if you see even one PUBS sign:

Puking while passed out
Unresponsive to pinching or shaking
Breathing is irregular, slow, shallow, or stopped, OR
Skin is blue, cold, or clammy  

Check out the Peer Health Educators’ “Call, Care, Cooperate” campaign for details on how to help others in an alcohol emergency, and their “Hoos Hosting” campaign for safer hosting tips.

Safer Strategies. Additionally, I encourage all of you to make decisions this Halloween weekend that protect your health and safety and do not negatively affect friends and others around you. If you or your friends choose to drink, consider these safer strategies:

  • Make a plan with friends and help each other stick to the plan.
  • Sip on and/or pace alcoholic drinks to one or fewer per hour.
  • Eat protein before and while drinking.
  • Stick to a drink limit.
  • Watch the drink being made and do not leave it unattended.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with other medications/drugs.
  • Utilize all safety resources, such as Safe Ride and Safe Walk, as well as the UVA Ambassadors in vehicles and on patrol.

Finally, out of respect for others, please be sensitive to how others might perceive your costume.

Thank you for taking responsibility for your own safety as well as that of other community members. Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Julie I. Caruccio
Interim Dean of Students