Police presence up for Halloween

Students hoping to dress up as police officers this Halloween weekend will find good company around campus.

On a night that is traditionally rife with college-aged “trickery,” Yale Police Department spokesperson Lt. Steven Woznyk said YPD will increase staffing in the next two days to heighten officer visibility in and around campus and help police tackle any issues that occur. Woznyk said officer deployment this year is similar to last year’s Halloween, which was on a Friday. Especially given that the festivities will span Friday and Saturday this year, administrators and student organizations are preparing for debauchery by augmenting police presence at various on-campus events.

Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry said that the administration will monitor the events of this “huge weekend.” Though the administration does not specifically hire extra police coverage, student organizations that are holding events often work in conjunction with the Dean’s Office to determine whether extra security is necessary. Woznyk said there will be additional police coverage at the Halloween Dance at Sage Hall, at President’s Levin’s annual Halloween house party on Hillhouse Avenue, at a party at the Afro-American Cultural Center and at the infamous Pierson Inferno party.

The 31-year-old Inferno returned last year after Master Harvey Goldblatt cancelled the event after 2002 when students damaged college property and 14 were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning. Though the residential college sanctioned a Pierson-only Halloween party during the hiatus, even the Inferno’s toned-down cousin caused trouble; in 2007, a miscommunication between student organizers and Pierson adminstrators regarding the date of the party led Pierson College Dean Amerigo Fabbri to call the YPD, which issued several citations for liquor violations. No citations were issued at last year’s Inferno, which banned students from bringing liquids into the Pierson Courtyard and limited alcohol consumption to of-age students with wristbands.

Fabbri said that the residential college has requested the presence of up to seven officers to manage the throngs of costumed revelers Saturday night.

“The Pierson administration is working together with Pierson students to make the Halloween festivity an enjoyable and, especially, safe one,” Fabbri said.

Yale Symphony Orchestra Managing Director Brian Robinson said the orchestra’s annual Halloween show will not feature heightened security measures compared to previous shows, adding that he coordinated security arrangements with the Yale College Dean’s Office. Three or four Yale Police officers will be present Saturday night, Robinson said.

He added that the only year of his seven-year tenure in which security has been an issue at the show was in 2001, in which an archaic ticket system made scalping the norm.

But despite fan-favorites like Inferno and the YSO Halloween Show, some students said this year’s festivities have less hype than in the past. Miranda Lewis ’12 said that more midterms have kept her from enjoying the buildup. Kaetochi Okemgbo ’11 said Halloween events have gotten progressively less exciting since freshman year.

“Freshman year, it was huge,” she said. But she added that the costumed Yalies go out especially hard because “people like an excuse to party.”

Tanya Grigoroglou ’10, who is dressing up as a strawberry, said she was looking forward to emerging from her “hole” of studying. She added that she used to wonder why Yale students costumed up four nights in a row come Halloween time.

“I think it’s because there’s not much else to do,” Grigoroglou said.

This will be the second rowdy Yale weekend in a row. Of the 2,000 Safety Dance attendees last Friday, at least eight ended up in medical facilities for alcohol-related reasons.

Colin Ross contributed reporting.

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