By Larry Rickard, Campus Safety Chief

Whether you’re heading to the beach, traveling abroad or staying local during spring break, one thing is certain: you deserve this time off. Before you kick back and relax, remember there are a few simple things you can do to be sure you have a safe spring break:

Before you go: Share details with a friend or trusted family member.
• Send them the name of your hotel, the room and phone numbers, and when you should arrive and return.
• Give them a copy of your important documents (like passport, driver’s license, insurance card and credit cards).
• Bring emergency contact information with you.

On the road: Enjoy the drive, but stay safe.
• Take turns behind the wheel (if driving long distance).
• Never drink and drive: use a designated driver or a licensed and insured taxi driver. (Services like Uber and Lyft cannot always guarantee the professionalism of their drivers.) Remember, a taxi is cheaper than a DUI and may save your life!

In a hotel: Keep the door locked, and use the peephole.
• Never open the door for strangers.
• Use the safe to lock up important documents and valuables (i.e. iPad Pro).
• Do not climb balconies or sit on railings.

Out on the town: Stay in groups and if you arrive together, leave together. If you choose to drink:
• Be responsible.
• Don’t leave beverages unattended, not even for a moment.
• Don’t accept drinks from strangers (even from that cute guy or girl).
• Avoid open container/punch bowl drinks (Do you really know what’s in there?).
• Eat a full meal first and alternate alcohol drinks with water or other soft drinks.
• Don’t mix alcohol with other drugs. It can be lethal.
• Have an exit plan, call a taxi or stay where you drink.
• Don’t drink and drive—not even jet skis, boats or other recreational vehicles.

About sex: It must be consensual. A majority of sexual assaults happen with someone you may know.
• Know your limits, communicate them firmly and directly, and stop if your partner says no-–no means no!
• If you see someone being harassed, step in and ask if they’re okay, or find someone else who can.
• Watch out for one another.
• If you choose to engage in sexual activity, practice safe sex.

Spring break is a time to relax and celebrate. But you can still be aware of your surroundings and trust your intuition. Remember, if you feel threatened at any time, dial 911.