Matt Crowley/The AS Review
Halloween, much like St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s, is one of those holidays that gets better with age. However, as students scramble to put together their costumes and finalize party plans, it’s important to remember that Halloween is one of the most rambunctious and potentially dangerous days of the year.
Both Western and various community groups are making sure that students stay safe this Halloween weekend. On both Friday, Oct. 29 and Saturday, Oct. 30, Western will be running three late-night shuttles to ensure that students are able to get home safe and sound. The buses will run two routes from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., one going downtown and through the Lakeway area, and another going south from downtown through campus, where freshman and other on-campus residents can get to their dorms safely.
“The shuttles are packed,” said AS Vice President for Student Life Jamin Agosti. “We’re running these shuttles to make sure students get home safe.”
According to the Associated Students Alternative Transportation office, over 1,000 people rode the shuttle on Halloween weekend last year, and total ridership is likely to get close to 2,000 this year. Part of the increase may be due to new Western Student Shuttle policy that allows bus pass holders to bring one person with them when they ride.
“The guest policy is a safety net as well,” said Alternative Transportation Coordinator Emily Kraft. “If you forget your card you can ask a friend instead of getting denied a ride home.”
If you are denied, however, there are solutions.
“If you miss the shuttle or end up having ten guests instead of one, we have numbers to call a taxi,” said Kraft.
The arrival and departure times for the buses will also be staggered so that if a student misses their ride, they can wait a few minutes for the next one.
Ultimately, though, students must remember to be respectful and controlled.
According to Kraft, “[T]he bus driver can deny boarding to any student who is violating shuttle policies, damaging property, or showing potential to harm themselves or others.”
Student public safety assistants will be present on every shuttle, not to get people in trouble, but to make sure they are okay. They will also be there to keep people from vomiting while on the bus; if they do, the bus has to be shut down for the night.
“They make sure the environment on the bus is safe and to make sure nothing gets out of hand,” said Kraft.
Since there will be only regular Sunday shuttle service however, potential Halloween night party-goers could face a long walk back home.
For those that live off-campus and are throwing a party, transportation may not be all that much of an issue, but there is still plenty to be concerned about. For the police officers patrolling these neighborhoods, noise and parking are on top of their priority list. According to the Bellingham Police Department, most of the calls they get, not just on Halloween but on any night, are for noise and parking violations.
For students who may be living in quieter areas, where neighbors won’t hesitate to notify police, this can be especially troublesome. According to the website of Campus Community Coalition, a local group that advocates communication between neighbors, talking to those that live around you beforehand will help make sure your party doesn’t end on a low note.
Still, Bellingham police will be on the hunt for noisy parties that get out of hand.
One of the most important things to do when throwing a party, besides keeping it at a reasonable size, is keeping people inside. When doors are thrown open and the party moves outside, things get loud.