Staying safe this weekend

Kelly Byer

Officials say stay warm, be responsible while out

About 30,000 people, including pseudo-superheroes and pretend politicians, will descend on Kent for this year’s Halloween celebration – and with that comes safety concerns.

Because of the crowd, foot and vehicle traffic can be a hazard, Alice Ickes, crime prevention officer for the Kent State Police Department, said.

“Be sure you can see, and that you can be seen,” Ickes said, adding that wearing a dark costume at night would make it difficult for a driver to see someone.

One potential hazard is the sidewalk across from Starbucks on Lincoln and East Main Street, which is currently smaller than usual due to construction, Ickes said.



The Kent State Police, along with Main Street Kent, will be hosting their annual alcohol-free party downtown this year. The first half will focus on family-friendly activities, and the second half will focus on keeping students safe.

The event will include a costume contest and video projection at the Home Savings Plaza. Students from the United Way and Relay for Life will be selling pizza and refreshments for their charities.

“It should make the downtown fun, maybe a little safer for people that they’ll have an opportunity to get something to eat and drink,” Crime Prevention Officer Alice Ickes said.


• Unconsciousness or semi-consciousness

• Slow breathing (less than 10 times per minute)

• Cold, clammy or pale bluish skin

• A person who can’t be awakened by prodding or shouting

• Vomiting without being awake

Source: Kent State Police

Ickes said students should also eat and drink enough and choose weather-appropriate costumes before they go out Saturday to prevent the loss of body heat.

In the residence halls, security manager Brian Hellwig said alcohol poses the main problem. He said security typically sees alcohol poisoning cases severe enough to call for emergency assistance.

Ickes said students should be aware of their surroundings while celebrating.

“If you’re going to drink, don’t drink to get drunk,” Ickes said. “You got to have your wits about you.”

To prepare for the weekend, Ickes said police will have extra officers on duty, with the afternoon shift officers extending their hours.

Campus security will also have additional aides on duty and take other precautions, Hellwig said.

Side doors to both Tri-Towers and Eastway will be locked. Campus security will be locking doors at Eastway for the first time because they are not sure what to expect with the large population of freshman students, Hellwig said.

Hellwig said campus security will also be issuing wristbands to visitors, limiting students to two visitors.

Dean of Students Greg Jarvie also sent postcards to students’ university mailboxes for the first time regarding Halloween.

“We want students to have fun, but we also want them to understand about being safe, being responsible and being respectable neighbors,” Jarvie said.

“I just hope students have a good time, but try and be responsible and safe and enjoy the weekend,” Hellwig said.

Contact safety reporter Kelly Byer at [email protected].