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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Residence Life tricks out dorms to treat students

Annie+Marum+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0AAlyssa+Mazza%2C+a+freshman+Graham-Greenlee+resident+hangs+Halloween+decorations+in+her+hallway+as+part+of+a+decorating+competition+happening+in+the+resident+hall.+
Annie Marum
Annie Marum / Arizona Daily Wildcat Alyssa Mazza, a freshman Graham-Greenlee resident hangs Halloween decorations in her hallway as part of a decorating competition happening in the resident hall.

Ahead of Halloween, UA residence halls are helping students stay safe without sacrificing scares.

With the Residence Hall Association highly emphasizing safety initiatives this semester, resident assistants have been preparing for big event weekends like Halloween since before the start of the school year.

“RAs get tons of training in the beginning of the school year to deal with any kind of emergency the might happen in any point of the year,” said Jessica Crombie, RHA adviser and coordinator of leadership development. “When it comes to big specific weekends I know a lot of staff, based on the culture and community, have specific conversations leading up to that weekend, just to talk about what are the things that they might see and what are some things they can potentially do to prevent stuff from going on.”

Some of the alternative Halloween events and activities residence halls have planned over the years that have turned into traditions around campus include Hog-o-Ween, a fall festival party hosted by Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall, and the haunted dungeon at Yuma Residence Hall where all money raised and canned food collected goes to the Tucson Community Food Bank.

“Halloween is one of the holidays that has a reputation for not appropriate behavior so a lot of the halls just put on their annual programs to have fun and to give their residents an alternative to the typical Halloween experience,” said Shelby Deemer, a pre-business sophomore and vice president of public relations for the RHA.

According to Sgt. Juan Alvarez, public information officer for the University of Arizona Police Department, nothing out of the ordinary is typically reported from residence halls around campus during Halloween.

“We don’t get any different type of calls on Halloween because it is Halloween,” Alvarez said. “We get a lot of drinking in the rooms, but that is throughout the year, not just specifically during Halloween time.”

Crombie says the amount of activity reported in the halls is tame compared to her experiences in other colleges.

“The school that I went to for my undergrad had huge Halloween issues. I mean every year there was a riot,” Crombie said. “So in comparison to the experience I had with Halloween on campus, the University of Arizona is really nice.”

Crombie said part of the reason for that could be effective education efforts by the RHA.

“Students, I think, at this point of the year have learned safe practices and know how to manage their less safe behavior, so hopefully to this point our work is being of assistance in making sure students are prepared for weekends when there is sometimes more behavior,” she said.

Some of the precautions that halls are taking this Halloween weekend include more RAs patrolling and reporting misconducts on a more frequent basis.

“There are people constantly circulating the building and we have a duty phone to call the UAPD in case anything happens and prohibit alcohol in the area,” said Breanna Lance, an elementary childhood education senior and RA in Graham-Greenlee. “This is my first year as RA, so (from) what I have heard in the past, we have been fine in maintaining curious behavior.”

A new alternative Halloween event beginning this year is Res-o-Ween, a trick-or-treating program started by the RHA where children from the Tucson community can get candy from booths located at the Highland Bowl from 4 to 7 p.m. on Halloween. All residence halls are expected to participate.

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