EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene Police and the Department of Public Safety at the University of Oregon have ramped up their forces starting Friday night to prepare for a weekend filled with Halloween, Duck football and consumption of alcohol.
At the intersection of 14th Avenue and Ferry Street, riots have taken place in past years.
No one can say what may happen this coming weekend, but University of Oregon students said the combination of Halloween, a Ducks football game and young partiers could make a perfect storm of trouble.
“People might get pretty wild,” said UO sophomore Bridget Case outside the bookstore on Kincaid Street. “People are going to be out and about, going around the community, and I think something big is going to go down.”
Last year, folks wearing Halloween costumes took to the streets, burning furniture and vandalizing property in surrounding neighborhoods by the university.
UO sophomore Joe Junor was there, and said he remembers the chaos.
“It was a couple thusand students out in the streets,” he said in Memorial Quad Friday afternoon. “A bunch of house parties convened out in the streets, and then shortly after, a couple hundred cops showed up and the SWAT tank, tear gas—the works.”
UO spokesperson Phil Weiler said the UO Department of Public Safety has prepared for any disturbances the weekend might bring.
He added that the real deterrent will not be more cops and security guards. Rather, to stop students from excessive drinking and too much partying, UO officials have added more activities on campus for Friday night and the weekend.
“I know all the residence halls generally have some kind of event going on, whether it’s a movie, an all-night film festival or trick-or-treating,” Weiler said in the Quad Friday afternoon. “And a haunted house in one of the residents halls.”
Eugene Police said they have also taken measures to keep the community safe.
“We’re doing proactive patrols in the West University area—looking specifically for alcohol-related violations that often cause more problems,” said Eugene Police Sergeant Ron Tinseth outside the department downtown.
He added that these types of calls often lead to other crimes like “noise disturbances, fights and sexual assaults.”
Tinseth said police are not expecting any riots over the weekend, but they are prepared for the worst.