Local News

N.C. State students working on Halloween plan

Posted September 24, 2008 10:51 a.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2008 5:42 p.m. EDT

— Student groups at North Carolina State University are looking to expand their Halloween celebration into a charity fundraiser in Raleigh.

Jay Dawkins, student body president at NCSU, said students are working to plan a safe and successful party along Hillsborough Street.

Celebrating Halloween on Hillsborough Street is becoming increasingly popular, with about 5,000 people attending last year’s celebration. The event is not affiliated with the university.

Dawkins said the goal for this year’s celebration is to take the focus off of excessive drinking and turn the celebration into a fundraiser for the homeless.

Students want to hold a canned food drive and sell wristbands that would give students discounts at some businesses Halloween night.

“We are not opposed to our students having fun on Halloween, especially when a good cause is involved. What concerns us is the potential for the less constructive behaviors that we've seen on Franklin Street,” NCSU spokesman Keith Nichols said.

An annual Halloween party is held on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. City officials recently recommended a plan to reduce the size of the party, which attracted 80,000 people last year. The event is not town-sponsored, but ended up costing the town approximately $221,000 for security, cleanup, crowd control, emergency medical care and other expenses.

Alan Lovette, who owns two businesses on Hillsborough Street, thinks it’s a good idea for N.C. State students to have somewhere to go locally on Halloween instead of heading off to other college campuses.

Lovette said the event won't have the problems Franklin Street's party has had because police aren't planning to block off Hillsborough Street, which will force most people to go inside of businesses.

“We can watch them a little closer than if they were on the street in a big group,” Lovette said.

Raleigh Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Wednesday the department does not support the student organized Halloween party and would prefer the event be canceled.

Raleigh Police are concerned the party will end up like the one on Franklin Street.

“We are talking about getting a crowd of people (and) adding alcohol to the mix; the potential for injury, the potential for property damage, the potential for law violations is going to be significant,” Sughrue said.

Dawkins said student groups want to curb the Halloween event before it ends up like the Franklin Street party.

“At Franklin Street it turned into something for half the state of North Carolina to come and have a party and we don’t want that here. This is for the students of N.C. State to come out and have a good time and serve the community while we are at it,” Dawkins said.