Date: Feb 24, 2011
To: All U.Va. Students
From: Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Re: Spring Break Safety
With Spring Break just around the corner, I wanted to write with several safety reminders.
Whether you will be heading home, traveling afar or staying in Charlottesville, planning ahead will help ensure a rejuvenating, safe break. Several general reminders:
If you plan to travel outside the United States, you will need to plan even more carefully. Make a list of everything you will need to take – from documents to medications – and leave adequate time for packing and getting to the airport.
If you are traveling with a program that is not affiliated with the University, give your parents or other contacts complete details on where you will be and how they can reach you.
A wealth of up-to-date information is available on the Students Abroad website, which is hosted by the U.S. Department of State. Emergency guidelines, travel advisories and alerts, and country-specific information, including a brochure with pointers for Spring Break in Mexico and the Caribbean, all are available through this site. In addition, the State Department encourages travelers to register through its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to facilitate communication in the event of an emergency.
Drink Spiking: This year, we are drawing special attention to the increasing risk, especially abroad, of “drink-spiking” to facilitate criminal activity. Individuals intent on committing serious crimes such as sexual assault, robbery and kidnapping use a variety of drugs, often placed into beverages or sometimes food, to induce unconsciousness and amnesia.
When you are in unfamiliar surroundings, especially traveling overseas, you are encouraged to adopt a heightened awareness of the potential for drug-facilitated crimes. The University of Virginia Health System’s Blue Ridge Poison Center recommends these precautions:
More information is available on the poison center’s Web site. If you have questions, you may call the center at 800.222.1222.
Information on various transportation options is available on U.Va.’s Parking and Transportation website. In addition, Student Council is sponsoring a Spring Break UVAirBus, which provides a bus ride from the Grounds to the Richmond airport (and back). One-way tickets are $20. More information, including how to reserve a seat, is online.
Student Council recently launched SafeWalk, a walking escort service staffed Monday through Thursday evenings from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Students who don’t want to walk home alone can call SafeWalk, and a male-female student team will accompany you. The telephone number is the same as for SafeRide: 434.242.1122.
Flu vaccine is still available at Student Health, and it is not too late for you to be immunized. To make an appointment to receive the shot, please go to the Healthy Hoos Web site.
If members of the Student Affairs staff or I can be of assistance to you, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best wishes for a fun, safe and restful Spring Break.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
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Last Modified: Friday, 25-Feb-2011 12:49:50 EST
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