October 26, 2021

Halloween Safety message from Eric Heath, Associate Vice President for Safety & Security

I am writing to share important resources and information to help you stay safe this Halloween. October 31 is traditionally a time when numerous visitors come to Hyde Park to trick or treat or engage in informal celebratory activities. Most people come to enjoy the holiday, but Halloween can also be a time of increased crime in the city. This year, there will be no formal events or activities on 53rd Street but we still expect numerous visitors throughout our community.

The following tips and information – regarding security as well as public health – will help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Halloween Safety and Security

  • The University has set up a Halloween-specific alert system to notify you of potential safety risks or criminal activity on or around campus for Saturday October 30th and Sunday October 31st. Anyone can sign up for these temporary alerts by texting “HALLOWEEN2021” to 226787 will receive a text notification. Note – this is an opt-in for October 30 and 31 only and does not affect your cAlert and security alert preferences.
  • The Department of Safety and Security has increased staffing for Halloween, with additional University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) officers and Safety Ambassador staff to monitor and respond quickly to potential incidents.
  • When traveling around campus and the neighboring areas, walk in groups, stay alert, focus on your surroundings, and put away your cell phone or other electronic devices. If you are concerned about your safety as you walk within UCPD’s service area, you can request a safety escort by calling 773-702-8181 or using the UChicago Safe app. You can also visit the University’s new safety webpage for additional tips on staying safe in the city and around campus.
  • Consider using bus, shuttle, or ride share options when traveling around campus and the neighboring areas. here or through the UChicago Safe app.
  • Download the UChicago Safe app on your smartphone. The app allows you to send your device’s location to UCPD, which initiates a call to UCPD’s emergency communications center so that police can be dispatched to your location. This service works anywhere within the geographical boundaries of UCPD’s service area (37th to 64th streets / Cottage Grove Avenue to Lake Shore Drive).

COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines for Halloween

The City of Chicago has established a website with information on how to celebrate the holiday safely, including important COVID-related guidelines for residents who plan to give out candy or go trick-or-treating. The city’s guidelines include:

  • Masks are recommended outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when social distancing is not possible;
  • Stay on the move and don’t congregate;
  • Go out with a small group;
  • Outdoor activities are safer than indoor ones. Masks should be worn for indoor activities.

Members of the University community should follow the city’s guidelines and continue to observe the University’s COVID-19 health requirements.

Thank you for your help to make this Halloween enjoyable and safe.

Eric M. Heath, Associate Vice President for Safety & Security