Writer Denver Correia discusses the top tips for staying safe - whilst spooky - this Halloween and wintertime.
There are many thrilling events on the winter festive calendar, including a variety of Halloween, and Christmas, socials. Sandwiched right in the middle of term it gives students an excuse for a much-needed de-stress, to unwind and get creative. However, staying safe on this occasion, amongst others this winter as the nights get darker, is fundamental. Cold, dark weather combined with the rise in social events this season makes it harder to identify people. Since the option of mass gatherings are now available, there are more risks to our safety to be considered, especially as students, with many of us experiencing independence for the first time.
Knowledge on important resources and tips to celebrate safely would be of benefit to any students planning on celebrating social events like Halloween and Christmas-themed nights out and about this year.
1. University of Glasgow SafeZone App
SafeZone is one of the most cited university essentials you should definitely have within reach. Monitored 24 hours a day every day, SafeZone is a General Data Protection Regulation compliant safety app operated by the University of Glasgow’s security team. Available for free on the App Store and Google Play, SafeZone has three main functionalities: blue – general enquiries; red – emergencies; green – first aid. If you aren’t within range of campus but find yourself in an emergency, the app gives you the option to still contact 999, but the UofG security team will be alerted, and will contact you to ensure you are okay. With its minimalistic and easy operating system, it is a must-have for students.
2. Students’ Representative Council Safe Taxi Scheme
In collaboration with Glasgow Taxis, the Students’ Representative Council operates a Safe Taxi Scheme, intended to allow students who find themselves in an unfamiliar location or without enough funds, to get back home safely, using their student ID as payment collateral. If you find yourself stuck and unable to get home, ring 0141 429 7070, quoting “Get Home Safe” & “GU1”, and give the operator your surname and GUID. It is then recommended to verify that the registration on the cab matches the one you have received in the message from the taxi firm. Upon arriving at home, you must sign the driver’s receipt and hand over your student ID as payment. After 24 hours, you can go and collect your student ID from the SRC Welcome Point and pay for your taxi.
If you don’t happen to have your student card, this scheme can still be used. Phone the same number as above with the same quotes, explain you have no student card and ask the operator to contact the University Gatehouse on 0141 330 4282, who can confirm your student status and then a taxi will be sent to get you.
With nightclubs back on the cards, many students are expected to hit up the local social hotspots in their best fancy dress getup. A good rule of thumb these days is to take a Covid-19 lateral flow test before and after events even if you’ve been fully vaccinated. Additionally, ensuring you have your vaccine passport ready to go for any checks at the nightclub doors is pretty much essential everywhere. This can be downloaded via the NHS Scotland Covid Status app.
4. Staying together
Being with friends not only makes wintertime gatherings fun, but it also helps ensure your safety should anything go wrong by sticking with people you know and trust. Buddying up with your mates would be the right choice, and if you happen to see any of your acquaintances alone – try and get them to tag along - it's best celebrating together.
After 18 months of restrictions on our social outings, with this advice in mind, enjoy a fun-filled Winter season, whilst keeping yourself, and others, safe.
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