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University Health Services encourages a safe spring break

March 12, 2009 By John Lucas

The vast majority of UW–Madison students are planning for a relaxing spring break at home, catching up on sleep or spending time with friends and family.

Some are planning road trips, while others will volunteer on a service-learning trip. And for others, it’s not a break if it’s not on the beach.

Whatever your plans, University Health Services (UHS) is offering the following tips to make your return to campus as healthy and safe as your departure:

  • Before leaving Madison, lock your doors and windows. Try to secure valuable items such as bikes, scooters, computers and iPods.
  • Do your homework before traveling to Mexico. There has been a considerable amount of publicity in recent weeks over the safety of travel to Mexico in the wake of a U.S. State Department travel alert. UW–Madison suggests that those planning to travel to Mexico protect themselves by taking time to learn about risks, ways to stay safe and where to get help from a U.S. consulate.

“Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable,” the alert reads.

View the alert here.

  • Wherever you are, leave and come home with friends, and keep a healthy skepticism about people you’ve just met.
  • Don’t horseplay or climb on balconies. Never sit on railings and always keep both feet on the floor at all times.
  • If you choose to drink, decide before you go out how many drinks will be your limit, and avoid drinking games.
  • If a member of your group passes out, turn the person on their side to prevent choking and call 911 immediately.
  • Make sure your friends and relatives know where you will be and when you expect to return. Call friends or family members to let then know that you have arrived and returned safely.
  • Always carry condoms.
  • Wear sunscreen of at least 15 SPF.
  • For sexual assault counseling during break, call 800-656-HOPE, which can link you to a rape crisis service near you, if you are in the U.S.
  • Before or after break, students who are interested in talking to a counselor or getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases can call UHS at 608-265-5600. Visit this site for more information.
  • An on-call dean is always available for a confidential appointment in the Student Advocacy and Judicial Affairs unit of the Dean of Students Office. Call for an appointment at 608-263-5700. 

Visit this site for more information about safety at UW–Madison.