Halloween is this weekend and with the threat of COVID-19, Cal Poly created guidelines for students to comply with to ensure students are safe.

University Spokesperson Matt Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News that the university continues to urge all students to do their part and to remember their personal responsibilities in slowing the spread of COVID-19. This means following all campus, state and local health and safety guidelines. Guidelines include avoiding large gatherings, maintaining physical distancing and wearing face coverings in public.

On Oct. 29, University Housing sent out a campus-wide email to students reminding them of Cal Poly and CDC guidelines which prohibits large gatherings, maintaining physical distance and wearing a face mask. 

The email also said that groups can hold virtual events, and RAs on call will hand out raffle tickets for prizes and candy during their patrol of campus. Students can also check with their RAs or the What’s Up Now app for information about the virtual events, according to the email. 

The Office of the Dean of Students also sent an email on Oct. 29, which provided guidelines for a safe Halloween on and off campus.

The city’s Safety Enhancement Zone will continue, which doubles fines for violations that relate to parties and gatherings, according to the email.

San Luis Obispo County continues to restrict social gatherings in a single location to prevent the risk of spreading COVID-19, according to the email. Cal Poly Police and San Luis Obispo Police will enforce violations of large gatherings.

If students are caught violating these regulations, Cal Poly will respond through the campus’s student conduct process with the aims of educating students about the negative effects of their behaviors, Lazier wrote. In some cases, imposing sanctions up to suspension or expulsion is also possible, he added. 

“Clubs and organizations are also reminded that they are not permitted to host formal or informal events, activities, meetings or gatherings in person — regardless of location, on or off-campus,” Lazier said.

The university works closely with San Luis Obispo Police and receives daily reports regarding noise complaints and gatherings, which the university does follow up on, according to Lazier. 

The Cal Poly Police Department and San Luis Obispo Police Department will work together on Halloween. Officers in vehicles, bicycles and on foot will be on patrol on and around campus. They will be looking for alcohol-related offenses, such as DUIs, and looking for noise-related reports, Lazier said. 

RAs are expected to enforce these policies on campus as well.

When RAs are normally on call they complete rounds, which includes walking through buildings and exteriors. During Halloween, RAs will be on call and completing their rounds. If an RA sees a policy violation, it is within their job to document the situation or call the University Housing professional staff or even Cal Poly Police to assist with incidents, according to Lazier.

Cal Poly urged students to stay home this Halloween in the email from the Office of the Dean of Students, but said that if students go out on Halloween they should comply with COVID-19 guidelines. It also said that if alcohol is involved, plan for safe transportation, stay with a friend, don’t leave any drink unattended and eat and stay hydrated.

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