Residence Halls prepare for Halloween festivities

Rachel Stevenson

Kent State Residence Services is preparing for Kent Halloween by increasing safety precautions in the residence halls on campus.

Brian Hellwig, assistant director of Residence Services, said all side doors and entrances to residence halls will be locked between the hours of 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday, and students and their guests will need a wristband to enter the halls.

Students are limited to bringing in two guests each. The number of residence assistants and Kent State security scheduled to work over the weekend has been doubled in order to ensure the halls stay secure.

“It helps to make our facilities as secure as possible,” Hellwig said. “We have an influx of thousands of people on campus, and so if we don’t manage that in some way, it can certainly get out of hand.”

Meghan Miller, residence hall director of Stopher Hall and Johnson Hall, said these safety precautions control traffic on campus and inside the residence halls while keeping the community safe.

“There will still be students that don’t want to engage in the festivities of Halloween, and we still need to keep it reasonably quiet so everyone can sleep and study,” she said. “We want the halls to continue to be as safe as possible.”

Hellwig said the biggest concerns for Residence Services involving student safety this weekend include alcohol and noise complaints.

“My biggest concern is students over-drinking,” he said. “We want to make students aware that there is a Good Samaritan Provision.”

Hellwig said the Kent State Police Department practices a Good Samaritan Provision, where students on campus can seek aid for a highly intoxicated or impaired student.

“We want to encourage students to reach out and get help for themselves or someone else and not be afraid to get in trouble,” he said.

The department worked to educate students on the Halloween festivities over the past few weeks through email reminders and mandatory floor meetings with RAs to clarify safety protocol and requirements, Miller said.

“I send a weekly email to my community, so they’ve received four or five emails from me just reminding them our processes are a little bit different,” she said.

Hellwig said understanding the need to educate new students is central to Residence Services’ role in ensuring student safety.

“We always have a lot of new freshmen, and so it’s a matter of educating new students every year (and) making them aware of the environment they are in and their surroundings,” Hellwig said.

He said he believes students should always feel safe living on campus, and encourages individuals wanting a security escort to contact 330-672-7004 between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

For Miller, she said making sure students make it home safe and make responsible decisions such as using a designated driver or walking in pairs is a top priority.

“I want to have the same number of students that we have today be the same number on Monday,” she said. “It’s really important just because students make decisions, and I just want them to make responsible ones.”

Contact Rachel Stevenson at [email protected]