Staying Safe on Halloween

October 25, 2023

Dear Members of the University Community,

We are writing to share important resources and information to help you enjoy Halloween while staying safe.

Halloween is a time when many members of the UChicago community and our neighbors trick or treat or celebrate on and near campus. Hyde Park tends to have an increased number of visitors during this time, and while most people come to enjoy the holiday, it can also be a time of increased crime in the city.

Our campus is part of a thriving community where many residents are committed to celebrating Halloween safely. Below you will find information on Halloween activities happening on campus and in neighboring areas as well as some safety tips. We encourage everyone to plan for a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Events On and Near Campus During Halloween Weekend

There are many opportunities for members of our community and their families to enjoy Halloween at UChicago. For a listing of events on and near campus, please visit the Campus and Student Life website.

Halloween Safety and Security

  • The University has set up a Halloween-specific alert system to notify you of safety risks or elevated criminal activity on or around campus for Tuesday evening, October 31st. Anyone can sign up for these temporary alerts by texting “Halloween2023” to 226787; you do not need a University affiliation to do so.
    • You will receive a text notification in the event of a significant crime or crime pattern reported to the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) that poses a safety risk to those celebrating the holiday in our neighborhood. A crime pattern is defined as three or more instances of a crime with characteristics that suggest they may be related.
    • This is an opt-in for Halloween only and does not affect your cAlert or security alert preferences. You can manage those preferences on the DSS website.
  • The Department of Safety & Security will increase staffing for Halloween, assigning additional UCPD officers and Safety Ambassadors to monitor and respond quickly to any incidents.
  • Our Hyde Park neighbors have set up a “Collabooration” effort where participating residents will leave their outside lights on during Halloween night and lead positive activities on their blocks. Now in its fifth year, Collabooration is intended to promote fun and safety while building community.
  • When traveling around campus and the neighboring areas, walk in groups, stay alert, focus on your surroundings, and put away your cell phone or other electronic devices. If you are concerned about your safety as you walk within UCPD’s service area, you can request a safety escort on the UChicago Safe app or by calling 773-702-8181.
  • Consider using bus, shuttle, or ride share options when traveling around campus and the neighboring areas. You can find current information about bus and shuttle availability through the TransLoc transit tracking app or through the UChicago Safe app.
  • Download the UChicago Safe app on your smartphone. One available safety feature is the ability to send your device’s location to UCPD so that police can be dispatched to your location. This service works anywhere within UCPD’s service area.
  • Visit the University’s safety webpage for additional safety tips and follow us on social media (Instagram, Facebook, X) for safety-related updates.

Stay Informed

In addition to signing up for the Halloween-specific alert, we strongly encourage everyone to sign up for both types of opt-in safety alerts regarding off-campus crime. Crime Notices are sent as needed on a timely basis for three types of serious off-campus crimes that have been reported to UCPD: homicides, shootings, and patterns of robberies. The Crime Bulletin, sent once each weekday, provides information about serious crimes that have been reported to UCPD. The Crime Bulletin encompasses a broader set of crimes than the Crime Notices.

Thank you for your help to make this Halloween enjoyable and safe.


Eric M. Heath
Associate Vice President for Safety & Security

Michele Rasmussen
Dean of Students in the University

UChicagoSocial: Campus and Student Life