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University Health Services encourages students to “do spring break right”

March 15, 2012

Whether surfing or skiing, volunteering or relaxing, or visiting with family and friends, visions of spring break are on the minds of UW–Madison students.

University Health Services (UHS) encourages students who are traveling, as well as students who are staying put, to do spring break right.

Photo:Sarah Van Orman

Van Orman

“We hope that students can take their minds off of school and have fun, but do so in a way that’s responsible and safe,” says Sarah Van Orman, UHS executive director. “That way they’ll come back energized and ready to take on the second half of the semester.”

Spring break doesn’t mean taking a break from using common sense, says Van Orman.

“If you normally make good choices, keep it up. With just a few free days, do you really want to spend them sick, injured, or sunburned? Know your limits, stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, use protection, and watch out for your friends — it’s safe for you, and it’s safer for them.”

To help students prepare for spring break, UHS will be handing out sunscreen, lip balm, condoms, and safety information on Wednesday, March 21 at College Library, starting at 5 p.m. (for as long as supplies last), and at the Spring Break Fair on the Ogg Hall lawn from 6 to 7 p.m. (sponsored by Southeast Area Resident Halls).

UHS will be open Monday through Friday of spring break week. More spring break tips can be found at

If your plans include travel outside of the U.S., whether on vacation or on an alternative spring break:

In addition, to make sure your return to campus is as healthy and safe as your departure; UHS and the Division of Student Life are offering these added reminders:

  • If you leave Madison, lock your doors and windows. Secure valuable items such as bikes, scooters, computers and iPods.
  • Don’t climb on balconies, and never sit on railings.
  • 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.
  • Carry and use condoms.
  • Wear sunscreen of at least 30 SPF.
  • Make sure your friends and relatives know where you will be and when you expect to return. Call friends or family members to let them know that you have arrived and returned safely. If you leave the country, make sure a relative in the U.S. has a copy of your passport.
  • When traveling, keep a healthy skepticism about people you’ve just met.
  • If someone in your group experiences a sexual assault, call 800-656-HOPE for a rape crisis service near you, or in Madison, contact the Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline: 608-251-RAPE.

An on-call dean is always available for a confidential appointment in the Student Assistance and Judicial Affairs unit of the Division of Student Life. Call for an appointment at 608-263-5700.

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