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Have a safe break!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Break always comes when time away from class, projects and campus is much needed. I hope that you will be able to relax and enjoy the break so you can come back ready for the final push of the semester.

Whether you are picking up extra shifts at work, embarking on an alternative service trip, staying home or traveling, we want you to get some rest and be safe during the break.

Wherever you are, please keep these thoughts in mind:

Be Aware
  • If you think you are being followed, drive to an open police or fire station or a well-lit, public place.
  • Don't give in to a false sense of security just because you have your phone with you.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol:
    • Drink or sip slowly.
    • Use a sober, designated driver.
    • Prepare or open your own drink and don't leave it unattended at any time.
  • Criminals target persons who look weak, distracted or afraid... so:
    • Walk with a purpose – head up, strong strides (if you can) look confident!
    • Keep your keys in your hand if you are going to your car or building/home.
    • If you feel something isn’t right, cross the street and go to a public area.
Ask and Listen
  • Be respectful of yourself and others. Make sure any sexual act is OK with your partner if you initiate. Consent is always mutually required.
Have a Plan
  • Always tell someone where you're going and when you expect to come back.
  • Use the buddy system - take a friend when you go out at night or to a party or club, and don't leave without them.
  • Don't go anywhere with someone you've just met.
  • If you are attacked on the street, make as much noise as possible by calling for help or blowing a whistle. Yell – “FIRE”, “POLICE” anything to get people to pay attention to you. Never pursue your attacker. Call 911 and report the crime as soon as possible.
Say Something

Active bystanders stop violence. It takes some character and guts to be the kind of person who will intervene, but one person can make a difference. If you're in a situation where you see something weird happening, you can:

  • Distract the people involved, or take one person aside and distract him/her.
  • Track down a friend of one of the people and have that person check on his/ her friend.
  • Knock - or open the door. Ask if everything's cool. Interrupting an OK scene is better than ignoring an act of violence.

Any situation that threatens physical harm to yourself or another student should be assessed carefully. Call the police if you need help to defuse the situation.

I wish you a fun, restful, and above all, a safe break.

Sincerely,

JJ Brown
Dean of Students