Halloween, October 31st and days prior

To: UC Santa Cruz Students

From:  Sue Matthews, Associate Vice Chancellor, Colleges, Housing and Educational Services

I hope this message finds you well as we approach fall mid-terms. One of my roles as associate vice chancellor for Colleges, Housing and Educational Services is to provide you with information that helps you to make safe choices. You should find the information below useful as you plan how and where to spend your time on Halloween this year.


On behalf of the university and the City of Santa Cruz, I encourage you to avoid downtown Santa Cruz on Halloween night and instead choose to be on campus in order to participate in one or more of the many programs offered throughout our college and residential communities. Please see http://housing.ucsc.edu/news/2017/2017-10-20.html for a list of programs hosted on campus. In past years on Halloween, the downtown has been marred by incidents of violence, including stabbings. Out of concern for community members who may unintentionally become victims of violence, the City of Santa Cruz takes a no tolerance stance toward those that would disrupt the community’s safety.


Like the City of Santa Cruz, the UC Santa Cruz Police Department also enforces a no tolerance policy in regard to unlawful, disruptive and/or dangerous behavior, and will deploy appropriate staff to deal with any issues that arise. The UC Santa Cruz Police Department and allied law enforcement agencies will forward information to Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards those students engaged in unlawful, disruptive and/or dangerous behavior. Additional community safety officers (CSOs) will also be deployed throughout the campus’s residential areas. Please be mindful and respectful of all campus policies, rules, and regulations.          


CALL 911: Do not hesitate to report any suspicious activity or behavior by dialing 911 (on campus you may also dial 831/459-2231, ext 1). In addition, if you feel that someone is suffering from substance poisoning or other medical emergency, dial 911 immediately. Timely calls to 911 save lives.


If, however, you do choose to go downtown, please be advised:


  • On the Friday and Saturday nights preceding Halloween, UCSC will operate Night Owl buses on their regular schedule from downtown Santa Cruz (Cathcart Street) approximately every 20 minutes from 11:30pm until 2:10am. CSOs will be riding these buses to assist in identifying any individuals that are clearly intoxicated and cannot care for themselves or others. These individuals will not be allowed onto the bus, and Police and/or Fire may be summoned to assess individuals.
  • On Halloween Night, Tuesday 10/31/17, UCSC will operate Night Owl buses from downtown Santa Cruz (near 511 Cedar Street) approximately every 20 minutes from 11:30pm until a last departure from downtown at 12:50am. SCMTD Metro buses will operate on their regular service schedule Tuesday night, Oct. 31, with the last Route 16 bus departing downtown at 12:07am to reach Science Hill at 12:25am before returning downtown at 12:47am.
  • Bus service from the downtown area may be limited and you may find yourself walking back up to campus. Should you have to walk back to campus, please remember to be good neighbors (i.e., respect the city noise ordinance, traffic laws and the property of others). Try to walk home with others as it can be very dark along several sections of the route back to campus.
  • Be advised that the downtown area has been designated a “triple fine” area for violations of city ordinances beginning on Monday, Oct. 30 and extending through the early hours of Wednesday, Nov. 1. Should you be involved in any incident for which you are cited by the City of Santa Cruz Police, you will also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for possible university judicial action.

Our colleagues from SHOP at the Student Health Center have provided tips for a safe Halloween both on and off campus. Please visit the SHOP News tab on the following website for more information:



In addition to the above, the City of Santa Cruz Police Department has asked the university to share the following with students:


If you are planning to come to downtown Santa Cruz on Halloween night, we ask that you have fun and behave responsibly. With the well-being of our residents and visitors in mind, the City has concentrated resources downtown to promote a safe environment that everyone can enjoy. This includes over 100 law enforcement officers from 9 agencies patrolling the downtown corridor and triple fines for certain violations of the Municipal Code. Triple fines and court costs make an alcoholic open container violation total $480, and littering almost $300.”


For your reference, information regarding the triple fine zone in the City of Santa Cruz is available at:


I hope that you have a fun and safe Halloween.