Halloweekend (and things much scarier than ghosts)

Some describe the Homecoming weekend to be just as disastrously fun and wild as the Little 500 weekend.

If you don’t know about lil five or homecoming, let’s just say the IU Police Department gets themselves ready in full force. Every rent-a-cop and even shopping mall security are called to roam around the city, making sure nobody burns down a building.

On Saturday night of the infamous party weekend, every cell phone number that IU has in their database received a text stating a reported.

Being at a house party at that time packed with 100+ hormonal college kids, it inevitably spurred Antoine Dodson references and ill-humored assholes claiming to be the shooter.

Thankfully no one was injured. However, the event seemed to mark a beginning to a stream of violence and crime in a town that I used to believe was, almost abnormally, safe.

Last Friday morning, a 22 year old pizza delivery guy was shot and killed after he interfered a man trying to break into a car. The story hit home because the guy is a townie and a part of our community, not just the foreign partier who came to cause ruckus.

The fire was only fueled when I was woken up at 7am on Sunday by a cop beating on my door. Something about these cops – perhaps it’s the uniform, or the always intimidating southern accents – always cause me to be overwhelmed with fear. These cops have way more things to worry about than an illegal music downloader and underage moderate drinker (one of millions in this town,) yet I still felt like I was marching to a death sentence as I opened the door.

It turns out there was a mass car break-in earlier that morning. A guy was breaking into the cars in the parking lot and grabbing anything he deemed valuable, including my neighbor’s shifting knob. Thankfully, the criminal was caught and the cop was knocking on my door to tell me that all stolen objects had been confiscated and could be claimed. Although nothing was taken from my car (I guess absolutely nothing was valuable), it shook my neighbors up pretty hard.

As someone who’s always had an undeniable loathing for the police force (all they are is fee collectors!) it was satisfying to finally see our tax dollars at work for the first time in person. When you become the victim in a situation involving cops instead of the accused, it feels quite comforting.

I’ve been living in the same place for five years. I remember the days when I could leave my front door and my car unlocked without a tint of worry. And ever since fellow IU student Lauren Spierer went missing (and her name inevitably becoming a verb for girls who walk home by themselves), Bloomington’s reputation dramatically changed to those who were incoming freshman. (and it doesn’t help that reports of rape and assault keep spurring from the frat street) Though I tried to convince myself that these tragedies are rare and unfitting of this town, I’ve come to finally realize that perhaps this town has changed. Perhaps it’s because of the dramatic increase in population in the past couple of years, or maybe this majorly suburban and decently wealthy middle-class town is not doing as well as we thought. Should probably stop being in denial.

Ironically enough, my photography assignment for the Halloween weekend was a Night feature, a rare and fun chance to experiment. Here are the best shots.

(Homecoming parade)

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