To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Staying safe during spooky season

It’s Halloweekend and you know what that means—it’s prime time for college students to party all weekend! You’ve finished your midterms—or maybe not, because Brandeis’ midterms season notoriously never ends until finals—and now you can enjoy the fun side of college. While Brandeis might not be the biggest party school like some state schools, we acknowledge that even we nerds throw down on Halloween weekend. It is great to have fun and socialize in college but you should make sure you are doing it safely. 

Be responsible. There is this hype around drinking in college, but know your limits. Also, just to make sure we cover our bases—you should not be drinking if you are under 21. That being said, you don’t have to drink in order to have fun, and if you don’t want to drink you should not feel pressured to. If you ever feel you are in a position where you are being forced to drink, we strongly recommend getting new friends—come join us. Some members of our editorial board elect not to drink and we have those who legally can’t drink because they aren’t 21.

In being responsible, we also want to look to the frats and sororities. Watch out for your recruits, they may not be in your sisterhood or brotherhood just yet but you should feel a certain responsibility to make sure they are okay during any celebrations there may be. Remember this is their first Halloweekend, and maybe try to lend some advice you would’ve liked to hear your first Halloween on campus. 

If you do elect to drink, make sure you are cleaning up after yourself. As Re:Wild Brandeis showed us earlier in the semester when they did their reservoir cleanup, the world is not your trashcan. Pick up after yourself wherever you choose to party. 

Some people may choose to dress up for Halloween. It’s fun and coordinated group costumes are a blast. On that note, a costume does not mean consent. Whether it’s a sheet to be a ghost, or all white to be an angel, the way someone dressed is not a form of consent. An outfit is not an invitation and they are most certainly not wearing it for you. We know the statistics from the Campus Climate Survey on sexual harassment on campus. No one should feel scared to dress the way they want to go out and party. If someone is inebriated and cannot give consent then it is not consent. You would hope that by now we would not have to stress this point and yet we do. 

Consent is when the person verbally says yes and is aware of the situation they are in. 

Halloweekend this year also happens to fall on Family Weekend, so maybe that’ll be a sobering thought for everyone. This is a great alternative for people who don’t want to go out and party. You don’t have to have your parents here to go to the events; I know people who went pumpkin carving solo and crushed it. 

There are so many fun alternatives that you could do individually or with a group of friends. You could boo someone—where you make a Halloween basket and leave it at someone’s door—or you can watch scary movies—or not-so-scary Halloween movies if you aren’t into that—you can paint or carve a pumpkin and eat tons of candy. 

There are many ways to have fun this weekend and don’t feel that just because there’s so much hype around Halloween that you have to do something you wouldn’t normally want to do. 

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