Indiana community, university officials prepare for another Halloween

Tiffany Catherman

Staff Writer

T.M.Catherman@iup.edu

10/28/16

The Halloween staples, of course, include dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating and some clowning around, but some individuals worry that it will be taken too far this year.

Over the past few months, a clown “epidemic” has swept the nation, leaving some people wondering how this Halloween will be affected.

The clown problem started in Greenville, S.C., where the first of many clowns was sighted. Two clowns were spotted trying to lure a little boy into the woods, according to NBC news. Since then, clown sightings have been reported up and down the East Coast.

There is no definite knowledge on what led to the first sightings. Since then, it has been difficult for authorities to distinguish the differences between dangerous clowns and innocent pranks.

“The problem with the clowns might have been real in some states,” said Devin Kocak (freshman, undecided), “but on most college campuses, it seems made up.”

IUP police will be out this holiday, making their regular rounds along with Indiana Borough police.

“I think the IUP police do a good job,” Lauren Amicone (freshman, computer science) said.

“I have never felt unsafe on campus, and as long as no clowns bug me, I’ll be OK.”

University officials urge students to stay safe this Halloween weekend.

A list of tips for staying safe this weekend has been posted on the IUP website. These tips include staying in groups, choosing a Halloween costume wisely and trusting your gut instincts.

Those who are drinking are urged to be extra cautious by knowing and setting limits, and those hosting parties to be aware of who is in attendance at all times.

“The IUP police will continue its work to keep the IUP community safe,” said Michelle Fryling, IUP executive director of communications and media relations.

No clown sightings have yet to be officially reported on the IUP campus.

“I think there will be people dressing up as clowns this weekend just to get a good scare out of people,” Kocak said. “Just be cautious and stay with people you trust.”