You’ve decided what you want to do for Spring Break, and you are READY. Maybe you want to have fun, or maybe you just want to sleep. Maybe you plan to travel, or stay home, or party all week, or make a difference in the world. No matter what your plans – you definitely don’t want to wake up your first day back more stressed, exhausted or overwhelmed than when you left. To make sure you get what you want out of Spring Break, here are some important safety considerations to keep in mind, whether at home, on the beach, in the big city, or abroad.
Know the RISKS
Criminals target students during Spring Break. Risks include break-ins at your house or apartment while you’re away, muggings of students who are out on the town, and sexual assault (often facilitated by alcohol and other drugs) by people you know and people you don’t know. If you’re traveling to a new place, do a little research ahead of time into relevant laws, customs, and expectations; they could all be quite different from Ann Arbor’s. And if you’re leaving the country, don’t forget to fill out the U-M Travel Registry.
Have a PLAN
Do some good thinking before Spring Break about your goals. Do you want to drink? How much? Do you want to hook up? Who with? What’s your specific plan for transportation, birth control, or safer sex? Do you want to take a Personal Safety & Self-Defense workshop before you go? For travel safety planning, be sure to check out these enjoying spring break safely tips from Erin Weed.
Once you know your risks, and have a plan, share that information with a trusted friend. Help each other out, watch for any red flags or creepers, have fun together and go home together. And remember - no one ever deserves, invites or causes violence; no matter what your choices or your situation, you have a right to ask for help. U-M students can get support from many places, including the Dean of Students Office, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the U-M Police Department.
Give yourself an amazing Spring Break. Once you know the risks, have a plan, and connect with your support people – have FUN! Share these ideas with your friends and housemates to assure a great time will be had by all.