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Editorial

Friendly reminder: Have fun but stay safe this Halloween weekend

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October 27, 2016

Halloween is quickly approaching, and many students at UW-River Falls are planning their transformations into a wide variety of characters this weekend. Dressing up, referencing your favorite aspect of pop culture or just getting a laugh out of people is a fun way to spend the weekend. However, remember to be respectful this Halloween by not dressing in costumes that may incite violence or make others feel unsafe.

Don’t use the current increase in clown fear by going out as a clown. Recent reports have said people dressed as clowns around the country are doing everything from looking in residence halls windows to carrying real weapons and chasing people. These circumstances are terrifying for some, and the playful fun of Halloween costumes should not be used to make people truly fear for their safety.

Similarly, make it clear that any weapons that go with your costume are fake. Foam swords and water guns with fluorescent caps on them should be easy enough to distinguish, but actual nightsticks or water guns designed to look like real pistols are a different story. Imagine being out at the bar and seeing someone whip out what appears, especially to someone who has been drinking, to be a real gun. Panic might ensue, or the person with the fake gun might be attacked. Surely, the police don’t want to receive a bunch of calls from frightened bar patrons when nothing serious is actually happening.

Speaking of the police, here is a friendly reminder that impersonating an officer is a crime. If you do dress as one, don’t act like you’re really an enforcer of the law. Stopping strangers on the street simply for a laugh is unnecessary and annoying. Additionally, don’t carry a weapon. You can have fake handcuffs and still get the message across without carrying a real baton.

All this being said, don’t get violent or aggressive with other people because of their costumes. The current presidential election has brought about strong emotions for many, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you see a political mask of a person you don’t support, that does not give you an adequate reason to harass the person behind it. Similarly, if you see a woman dressed in a revealing costume, leave her alone. Just because she’s dressed as a “sexy pirate” doesn’t mean you’re entitled to catcall her or receive any attention from her whatsoever.

All in all, just be a decent person when you’re out this Halloween weekend.