Staying Safe on Halloween

October 28, 2020

From: Eric Heath, Associate Vice President for Safety and Security
To: Members of the University Community
Subject: Staying Safe on Halloween
Date: October 28, 2020

I am writing to share important resources and information to help you stay safe this Halloween. While the holiday will look different this year, October 31 is traditionally a time when numerous visitors come to Hyde Park to trick or treat or engage in celebratory activities. Most people come to enjoy the holiday, but recent years have also seen an increase in criminal activity in parts of Hyde Park and South Kenwood. The following tips and information – regarding security as well as public health – will help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Halloween Safety and Security

  • The University has set up a Halloween-specific alert system to notify you of potential safety risks or criminal activity on or around campus that night. Anyone can sign up for these temporary alerts by texting the word “HALLOWEEN2020” to 226787 – you do not need a University affiliation to do so. In the event of activity on Halloween that poses a safety risk, you will receive a text notification. Note – this is an opt-in for Halloween only and does not affect your cAlert and security alert preferences.
  • The Department of Safety and Security has increased staffing for Halloween, with additional UCPD officers and staff to monitor and respond quickly to potential incidents.
  • When traveling around campus and the neighboring areas, walk in groups (maximum of 6 per COVID-related guidelines), 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 by calling 773-702-8181.
  • Consider using bus and shuttle 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, available here or through the UChicago Safe app.
  • Download the UChicago Safe app on your smartphone. The app allows you to send your device’s location to UCPD, which initiates a call to Dispatch. This service works anywhere within the geographical boundaries of UCPD’s service area (37th to 64th streets / Cottage Grove Ave. to Lake Shore Dr.).

COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines for Halloween

The City of Chicago has established a website with information on how to celebrate the holiday safely, including important COVID-related guidelines for residents who plan to give out candy or go trick-or-treating. The city’s guidelines include:

  • Wear a face covering at all times;
  • Trick-or-treaters should avoid congregating, and go out in groups of 6 people or less;
  • Observe social distancing and use hand sanitizer; and
  • Avoid house parties and haunted houses.

Members of the University community should follow the city’s guidelines and continue to observe the University’s Health Pact.

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