October 20, 2020 - Have a Safe and Fun Halloween and Fall

The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Stephen C. Sutton Ed.D., and  Sunny Lee Ph.D., Assistant Vice Chancellor of Dean of Students, sent the following message to all undergraduate and graduate students on 10/20/20:


As you enjoy the upcoming celebration of Halloween and other fall festivities, please keep your health and safety as well as the health and safety of your friends and those around you in mind, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Around Halloween, many students will wish to dress up and celebrate. We encourage students to be attentive to their surroundings, celebrate in safe ways, look out for each other and demonstrate the care and respect we all expect from our Berkeley community. We can all play a part in making Berkeley - or your current local community - safer, more fun, and inclusive. We each can intervene or disrupt harmful or dangerous situations. 

Below are some helpful tips to help you enjoy your weekend safely. You may wish to save some of these important phone numbers in your phones for easy access:

  • Continue to practice physical distancing, avoid parties or other large gatherings. Remember, student organizations are prohibited from gathering, regardless of the size.For information about the Temporary Provision on Misconduct related to COVID-19, please see this PDF.
  • Consider having a physically distanced costume contest or dance party, a candy scavenger hunt, or remote scary movie night. 
  • If you do attend in-person events, gather only with your “bubble” or household grouping. During the event, kindly and firmly ask people to follow public health precautions and have at least one person who will watch over the group. 
  • If you or your friends choose to drink alcohol, drink responsibly, and please do it with your household grouping only. Use the PartySafe@Cal healthy pandemic practice strategies to attend to best practices. Remember, do not drink and drive! 
  • If you are out with your household grouping, please wear your face coverings in public and with your costume
    • Note that carrying fake weapons or close imitations can often be perceived as a safety threat if wrongly identified by law enforcement. 
    • If you use Uber, Lyft, or other resources to get around, remember you need a face covering to ride. 
    • Stay to well lit places and avoid people you deem suspicious.
  • Use Night Safety Services (nightsafety.berkeley.edu), especially after dark and in poorly-lit areas or when walking alone.
  • Beginning at dusk until 3 am, seven days a week, you can access BearWalk at bearwalk.berkeley.edu / (510) 642-WALK (9255) to make a request for a safe way home, and to see a live map of night safety buses and their proximity relative to your location.
  • Learn more about how you can be an active bystander. Together we can prevent violence and harm by being active bystanders who care for one another.
  • Remember that you can still intervene while physical distancing. You can intervene on social media, video calls, texts, as well as in person. Check-in calls via video and phone may be ways to buffer against violence at home.
  • Remember that someone who is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs cannot consent to sexual activity. Costumes, flirting, or silence do not imply consent - only yes means yes. 
  • If you need support, PATH to Care is here to help. Contact the 24/7 Care Line at 510-643-2005.
  • Notice (and point out to your friends) the Emergency “Blue Light” Telephone stations located around campus. These can be used to notify UCPD that assistance is needed.
  • If you see suspicious activity (based upon a person's behavior, not appearance), criminal activity, or if you need assistance: 
  • For emergencies, dial 911 or via cell on campus dial UCPD at (510) 642-3333.
  • On campus non-emergencies - UCPD at (510) 642-6760 (police.berkeley.edu). 
  • City of Berkeley - Berkeley Police Department at (510) 981-5900 (ci.berkeley.ca.us/police). 
  • Anxiety, or simply being alone in your residence, on a holiday weekend can lead to an increase in alcohol and drug use. If you need help, contact UHS to make an appointment or find a local resource. 
  • Also, don’t isolate yourself completely – social distancing shouldn’t become social isolation. Keep communicating with others and set-up virtual meetings with friends and family members to stay in touch.

Please have a safe and fun Halloween weekend.