As the University community prepares to celebrate Halloween, Family Weekend and a football game against Miami, the University Police Department and ambassador program plan to expand coverage and increase vigilance to ensure the community’s safety.
With Halloween falling on Monday this year, many students are planning to hold celebrations during the coming weekend. Additionally, Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn —- a University tradition that was canceled the last two years due to the pandemic — will return this Monday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
In an email statement to The Cavalier Daily, deputy University spokesperson Bethanie Glover said the University has preparations in place to accommodate the anticipated number of guests and rise in pedestrian traffic on Grounds.
“The U.Va. Police Department, along with the ambassador program, will have an increased presence on the Lawn and in the surrounding area during Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn,” Glover said. “Patrol staff will also be extra vigilant throughout next weekend with the expected increase of community members on Grounds for Halloween and Family Weekend.”
Per typical protocol, UPD will also coordinate with local law enforcement, medical teams and emergency managers to ensure safety at the Saturday football game.
First-year College student Ibrahim Khalil — who plans to attend a costume party, participate in trick-or-treating on the Lawn and attend the football game — said she appreciates the increased safety measures taken.
“Especially around holidays, the party scene here tends to get more out of hand than usual and increased security overall is definitely necessary,” Ibrahim said. “Since there will be a lot of families here and more people, it would make everyone feel safer in case anything out of the ordinary happens.”
Third-year Commerce student Valerie Yu also said she supports the move to increase security presence, but viewed police officers as less effective than other groups.
“I like the idea of ambassadors more than police officers because the school prioritizes the safety of the students, whereas police officers prioritize the law,” Yu said. “Those two groups have different and somewhat conflicting goals, especially in regards to underage drinking.”
Yu said she thinks security should aim to be protective but unobtrusive.
“I fully support the idea of having additional security as long as they aren’t inhibiting the enjoyment of students and making people uncomfortable,” Yu said.
Aside from formal policing, Glover also advised students and families to drive slowly around Grounds and to remain on alert.
“We encourage all community members to be extra cautious and aware next weekend and to reach out to UPD or other local authorities if assistance is needed,” Glover said.