We know most of you look forward to Halloween as a time to blow off steam in the middle of fall semester. This has been a very challenging semester for many; we know that having good, safe fun is super important. While we want you to enjoy the weekend, we also want you to be aware that the reality of this holiday is that there are real risks, such as increased sexual misconduct and sexual assault, along with general student misconduct associated with Halloween.
- Halloween is not an excuse to grab someone’s body or engage in sexual activity without their consent. Consent is a clear, sober yes. “Slow down,” “I’m not sure,” “we should wait” is not consent.
- Halloween is not an excuse to engage in street harassment, such as making sexual, racial, or harassing comments to someone. (Here’s a checklist about costume choices, too.)
- Halloween is not an excuse to act without a filter and consideration of others, such as vandalizing property that is not yours, or getting in a fight.
- If you are of legal age and choose to drink, know your limits, keep track of your drinks and designate a trusted sober friend to be with you. Do not take drinks from someone you don’t know and trust.
Our university Victim’s Assistance Team and Women and Gender Advocacy Center report that they learn of more sexual assaults than usual occurring during the week of Halloween. National statistics prove that more than 50 percent of all college sexual assaults occur in the fall (August, September, October or November). More than 95 percent of all sexual assaults experienced by students are committed by someone the assault survivor knows.
Our campus statistics show that Halloween weekend accounts for 5 – 7 percent of all cases that go through our Student Conduct System. Last year, over the days just before, during and after Halloween weekend, 168 students were referred to Student Conduct. This includes referrals from Fort Collins Police Services, CSU Police Department, residence halls and other offices – city, campus, and even across the state — for poor student conduct including alcohol infractions, sexual misconduct including sexual assault and uninvited touching, physical assault, vandalism, false IDs, obstructing a peace officer, and public urination. Consequences are in addition to legal and civil penalties a student can face. University sanctions ranged from warnings to suspension.
- If you see something that doesn’t seem right, do something. Trust your instincts. When you feel uneasy, get out of the situation immediately. Stand up for each other and help those who also may need to get out of a situation.
- Consider using the buddy system and travel in groups. It is also a good idea to carry a cell phone, stick to well-traveled areas and carry a flashlight after dark.
- Leave if a party appears to be getting out of control, and, if you are the host, register your weekend party with Off Campus Life by 5 p.m. today. Call police and ask for assistance if it starts to get out of control.
- Ask for help if you need it, and reach out to university resources for support for those who may be going through a difficult time. It has been ten weeks since the start of the semester, and it has been a difficult fall for many in our community. If you are feeling depressed or overwhelmed, it is OK to ask for help. To speak with a counselor, call 970-491-6053 or stop by the CSU Health and Medical Center during business hours, or visit health.colostate.edu for resources.
- If you are worried about a friend, please seek help through Tell Someone.
Make wise choices this weekend, Rams. And, remember: Rams take care of Rams.
Have fun and be safe,
The CSU Public Safety Team