My Safe Spring Break
Spring Break is just around the corner! And what better way to kick off the break than with the Student Centers’ My Safe Spring Break event! Join us, Monday, March 7th from 11:30am – 1:30pm in the Student Center Plaza as we provide students with fun activities, useful information and much more.
This event will have many activities that students can engage in, such as a ice cream eating contest happening at 12:30pm. Participants are encouraged to SIGN UP ahead of the event. Additionally, we will be providing eye-opening interactive activities such as fatal vision goggles and a distracted driving simulation. Smart Cougars will be there providing information on safe sex, Cougars in Recovery will be providing activities about substance abuse giving students the opportunity to win prizes. Also, UH Wellness will be providing free sunscreen, and other partners such as CSI and TDECU will be there assisting students on how to have a safe spring break!
Don’t miss out on the chance to eat delicious food, win prizes and join in the fun! Come out and have a blast at My Safe Spring Break! Be sure to check out the Safe Spring Break tips provided below! For more information be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
MY Safe Spring Break Safety Sheet
On the go...
- If you are hailing a taxi, ask ahead for a typical price. This is especially important in countries where taxis don’t have meters. If there is no meter, you must negotiate the fee before you agree to the ride. The front desk of your hotel is a great resource to tell you how much a ride should cost.
- If you are going to carry a backpack, consider getting a small lock for your zipper and keep the key in your pocket. Another theft reduction is to carry your backpack on your front instead of your back in crowded areas.
- If you are in a foreign country, take some time before your trip to familiarize yourself with basic road signs and rules of the road for that country. Travel books by Frommers and Lonely Planet are great resources as are your rental car facilities.
- When you check in at the front desk, use discretion in saying your room number out loud for anyone in the lobby to hear. No one outside of your group of friends needs to know your exact location.
- Reserve a room that’s above the 1st floor but below the 6th floor. First floor rooms are easier to break into, and rooms above the sixth floor are sometimes too high for fire ladders to reach.
- Using the Do Not Disturb sign won’t prevent housekeeping from being able to enter your room, but will highly reduce the likeliness of that happening. If you are going to have housekeeping in your room, leave your valuables in the safe when you are gone.
At the ATM...
- Try to go the ATM in groups, but avoid getting overly complacent about safety just because you’re traveling in numbers.
- When you approach the ATM, do a full 360 degree scan, looking completely around you to see if anyone is hanging out where they shouldn’t be. If someone is creeping you out, go to another ATM.
- When entering in your pin number, use your other hand or your body to cover the keypad. Just because you don’t see someone watching you doesn’t mean there couldn’t still be a camera capturing what you type.
- If you do decide to drink, know the liquor laws of wherever you’ll be vacationing.
- Do not drink from open beverage sources like punch bowls, pitchers or tubs
- Eat before drinking. Drinking on an empty stomach can cause alcohol to affect you much quicker and can make you sick and those bowls of snack mix aren’t much substance to go on.
In the water...
- Drinking + sun can equal a bad sunburn and an even worse hangover. Sun can maximize the effects of alcohol so keep this in mind when you party poolside or at the beach.
- Know the flag system for water safety:
- Red Flag: Stay out of the water because of strong undertow and riptides.
- Yellow Flag: Use CAUTION in the water. There are some undertow and riptides possible.
- Blue Flag: Calm water. Swim safely
- Drinking in the hot tub might sound like a good idea, since pretty much every MTV video makes it look glamorous. But lo and behold, MTV is not an educational resource. (shocker!) Alcohol can dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. The effects of alcohol are felt sooner and stronger in a hot tub. It can lead to unconsciousness and drowning.
Let’s talk about sex...
- First, don’t believe the hype about our hook-up culture. Not everyone is hooking up. Choices to have sex or not to have sex are extremely personal and shouldn’t be influenced by anyone’s mandates but your own
- If you do choose to have sex, make sure it’s protected. Stock up on protection before you leave home so you never find yourself in a compromised situation. While other methods of birth control may avoid accidental pregnancies, condoms are the best way to prevent STD’s. Always carry two in case one breaks. The responsibility for having safe sex is equal for men and women. Anyone who plans on engaging in sex should have protection.
- Decide before even head out for a party or on a trip, what you want your personal boundaries to be in regards to intimacy. Then set your boundaries early and reinforce them often. If you meet someone and decide to get cozy, but don’t to have sex, be up front with them. You can say something like, “I really want to make out with you, but that’s as far as things are going to go. Cool?” Don’t ever let anyone talk you into doing something you’re uncomfortable with.
Leaving the country...
- Know your local equivalent to 911. Who do you call in an emergency?
- Do not take shortcuts. Stay on well-traveled streets.
- Check your phone before you leave the US to be sure that you are enabled to use it overseas in case of emergency.
*This list was abbreviated by the Student Centers Marketing Team. For a more complete list of safety tips please visit www.safespringbreak.org.