Written by Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief
Graphic detailing Halloween weekend crime log. Created by Alyssa Wilson.
At universities across the country, the weekend closest to Halloween means an increase in fun and parties, but oftentimes also means an increase in crime and safety concerns with the University of Lynchburg being no exception.
Following the initial onset of COVID-19 the university put strict policies in place regarding campus parties and the ways they were able to operate.
For example, only a small number of students could be in a residence at a single time, and harsher protocols were put in place when these policies were undermined.
Now that there is more information surrounding the virus, policy has lightened and many students are saying that the party culture that was once affluent is returning, which appeared to be apparent this past weekend.
In awareness of the weekend, campus safety and security was prepared for an uptick in crime and safety issues.
An influx of reported crimes were added to the university crime log, which is public for anyone to view.
Several underage alcohol violations were reported as well as an increase in vandalism.
A rumor surfaced on campus following the eventful weekend was that someone died of alcohol poisoning at a party on Vernon Street, however Caifano confirms that this is just a rumor and no one died on school property over the weekend.
Although the death was a rumor, it can be seen on the crime log that a non-student was sent to the hospital for alcohol violations.
Students allegedly say that the non-student was a local high-schooler who passed out and became unresponsive at a party.
The university hosts a wellness toolkit on its website that educates and informs students about the risks of drinking and how to drink and party responsibly.
In addition to the toolkit, departments like the counseling center, and Student Development often send out emails or put up posters that aim to educate students about how to drink responsibly.
“There was an increase in reporting this weekend. People were calling when they needed help and had too much to drink,” says Caifano.
The Campus Safety and Security office urges students to call their number to receive prompt help regardless of the situation.
Caifano says that they want students to report incidents and seek help, but safety is also a shared responsibility and students should make sure they are being safe and aware of their consumption.
After the call for the unresponsive non-student, Lynchburg Police Department officers and Campus Safety and Security officers shut down several parties on College Street.
Through a poll conducted on Instagram, 10 students voted that “parties were lame and got shut down” and one student said that they had no complaints.
Although students do say that party culture has increased on campus, the presence of LPD handling the report on Vernon Street, subsequently caused other parties to be shut down.
Caifano states that he thinks alcohol intoxication may have something to do with the increase in vandalism that was seen over the weekend.
Although the most counts of vandalism were reported on Sunday, he says that these incidents likely happened overnight and were not noticed until the next morning.
Students can receive more information about safety and emergency procedures by visiting here.
The student body is strongly encouraged to report any concerning incidents or suspicious behavior as soon as it is apparent. Students can report anonymously through LiveSafe or call Campus Safety and Security with their concerns.