Friday, Mar 27, 2015
SIU Prepares for Halloween, Carbondale Bars to Remain Open
JACKSON COUNTY-- Thursday marks the first time since 2000 bars on the Carbondale strip will be open for Halloween.
That year, students rioted and the city responded by forcing those businesses to close every year since. There's no way to know what this year's festivities will be like, so SIUl is hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
"We want to discourage any outlandish behavior that is destructive. breaking windows or whatever. we definitely can't tolerate that," SIU Police Chief Benjamin Newman said.
Newman works closely with Carbondale Police. Both agencies will show a heavy presence on campus and throughout the city for Halloween.
"We're gonna take a proactive approach addressing issues as they arise, and that might include outside the confines of SIU," added Newman.
Riots in the past destroyed cars, damaged businesses, and ended with police shooting tear gas to break up the crowds.
"This kind of activity that is unwarranted will not be tolerated," said Newman.
SIU officials don't expect a repeat. They say the university is different now; there are fewer students, fewer bars on the strip, and most advertised activities were last weekend.
"The ancient history lets take the strip and do damage to our home fortunately seems to have passed," said Dr. Katie Sermersheim, Dean of Students.
Police monitor social media to find parties and so-called hot spots.
So far, there hasn't been much activity. While officials are optimistic, they're prepared for anything.
"Want to make sure we provide a very focused effort. Focus in on
crime prevention and allowing a resource reporting mechanism for those people that run into trouble," Newman said.
Thursday's forecast calls for a lot of rain, which may put a damper on Halloween plans.
Wind: 5 MPH
Humidity: 81 %