Texas Wesleyan has already started celebrating Halloween, and the university’s security personnel are ready to handle anything the celebrations of all things spooky and ghostly may bring.
Chris Beckrich, Wesleyan’s director of security, said security will be the university’s top priority as students celebrate in dorms, such as Stellaween, and around the campus.
“We will be on heightened alert obviously just because it’s a holiday and we have special events at the residence houses,” Beckrich said.
At the same time, though, students have to stay aware and act responsibly, he said.
“They (students) know what will get them in trouble and what won’t get them in trouble,” Beckrich said. “If they feel some situation isn’t right, we obviously recommend that they get out of it. If they can’t, make sure they have the security’s number programed into their phone.”
Beckrich said that there are four Sun State Security officers who patrol the campus and a dispatcher on hand 24 hours a day.
Dr. Cary Adkinson, assistant professor of criminal justice, said campus awareness and students looking out for one another will help keep students safe. He also addressed the recent creepy clown sightings around the country, some of which have led to violent encounters.
“My advice for Halloween safety, if you are going to dress up as clown make sure you are not creeping around people’s backyards, don’t go standing next to the woods,” Adkinson said. “I would still keep yourself going to things like carnivals or going to Halloween parties or going to Halloween event where you’re going to fit in.”
Like Beckrich, Adkinson noted how safe Wesleyan is.
“Statistically speaking, the likelihood of some actual kind of carrying out of a threat or some actually physical violence, is a relatively small threat,” Adkinson said.
Dean of Students Dennis Hall said he is also concerned about student safety during Halloween. He discourages dressing up as a clown, although he said the university is not banning people from doing so.
“Not only does it pose a safety and security issue for the surrounding community, but it’s also a safety issue for them,” Hall said. “With XYZ happening, we are going to be on the offensive now if we see someone dressed up as a clown. We have not only our security officers on campus 24-7, but during the evening hours at night time, we have an off duty Fort Worth police officer who will be on campus.”
Hall said Halloween should be a fun day, but it also raises concerns about student decisions that night. He suggested that students should travel in groups and be aware of their surroundings.
If students feel uncomfortable or would like an escort across campus, they should call security, Hall said. If they believe themselves to be in dire danger they should call the Fort Worth Police Department.
“It’s the responsibility of every person on this campus to assist in the safety and security of everyone,” Hall said.
Campus security can be reached at 817-531-4911 and the on-campus extension is 4911.