Lt. Josh Mecimore, spokesperson for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said Franklin Street is one of the biggest concerns for the department on Halloween.
“One big concern is the size of the crowd and if something dangerous happens, such as a crowd rush, which is a risk of injury to bystanders and officers,” Mecimore said.
Mecimore said the annual influx of people causes additional safety concerns.
“Thirty thousand was the crowd size estimated at last year. Certainly, the University has had some issues with lots of guests in dormitories last year, so I know they’re taking steps to trying to handle those issues,” he said.
Associate Director of Housing Rick Bradley said he hopes this policy will improve student and guest safety. He said the rule has become standard practice at large universities.
“This is actually the first year we’ve utilized the guest policy specifically for Halloween,” Bradley said. “We frequently run into intoxicated individuals and those without identification, and we have found it difficult to link them to a UNC student, so we want to do it so we find someone to link them to if they need assistance.”
In addition to the newly established guest registration policy, residence halls take steps every year to ensure the buildings are secure.
“One rule is that we do lock exterior doors and only have one primary door that students enter through,” Bradley said. “That’s probably the only significant change from our normal operation.”
Residence Hall Association President Taylor Bates said he is confident this simple, straightforward process will make Halloween a better time for everyone.
“It’s really just to help RAs do their job effectively. This will just allow them to have an idea about who’s in their hall and to keep people safe,” he said.
He said many students are unaware of the policy.
“Most students should be notified about it from their RA or community director,” Bates said. “I don’t think it’s very well known right now, but hopefully it will become more known closer to Halloween.”
With the Halloween weekend quickly approaching, students are asked to remain conscious of the activities they choose to partake in.
“I encourage residents to make good choices over Halloween,” Bates said. “Each residence hall is having an alternative Halloween activity, so we encourage residents to take advantage of these activities.”