Yasmin Tadjdeh, Asst. News Editor

This Halloween, parents living in the City of Fairfax can breathe a little easier knowing their children will be safer while trick-or-treating. Coming back for another year is George Mason University’s Witch Watch.

Witch Watch, a Student Government initiative, has been occurring since the 1994–1995 school year, according to Lynn Gold, chair of the University Life for the Student Senate.

“Witch Watch is an event that brings Mason students into Fairfax in order to monitor trick-or-treating and ensure that all children are safe,” said Gold. According to Gold, this year 275 students are participating in the event. Registration for volunteers closed on Oct. 19.

According to Speaker of Student Senate Mhehvish Khan, students who registered to volunteer for Witch Watch will be arriving on campus at 4:30 p.m., where they will be given a free t-shirt, a free meal and will be briefed by Mason police on what to do and not to do.

Volunteers, after being briefed, will be put into groups and dispersed into Fairfax where they will watch for any shady behavior or creepy cars that might be a rick to trick-or-treaters, according to Khan. Students should be done volunteering no later than 8 p.m., leaving plenty of time to attend Halloween parties.

“[Witch Watch is] a great way for the university to give back to the City of Fairfax, and it’s a great way to come together,” said Khan, who described this year’s Witch Watch as “bigger and better” than previous year’s, with more volunteers.

Many students will be participating in Witch Watch because they can understand the fear some parents may have with sending their children off to trick-or-treat.

“I think it is important for kids to be safe on Halloween, especially because I have a younger sister and I wouldn’t want something to happen to her, so I can sympathize [with parents who may be worried],” said Laide Ayodeji, a freshman neuroscience major, who will be participating in her first Witch Watch this year.
Other students think Witch Watch is a good idea, but may not have a big effect.

“The presence [of Witch Watch volunteers] deters people from doing something illegal, but at the same time they aren’t in uniform so they won’t have the same effect as a police officer,” said freshman economics major Drew Falvey.

With record numbers of participants for this year’s Witch Watch, the City of Fairfax’s children may be a little safer on this Halloween.