CU-Boulder urges spring break safety for students traveling or staying put

With visions of ski resorts and warm beaches on the minds of many students, the University of Colorado Boulder is urging students to exercise caution whether they remain in Colorado, travel elsewhere in the country or go abroad for spring break.

CU-Boulder’s spring break is March 26-30.

Students planning to travel abroad need to be aware of travel warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State, including recent warnings for those planning to visit Mexico. For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5665.html. Those planning to go to Mexico also can view general travel tips at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/tips_1232.html.

“The advice I give to students traveling internationally is similar to what I would tell students locally,” said Larry Bell, director of international education at CU-Boulder. “Stay aware of your surroundings and exercise caution in places with which you are not familiar. When abroad be alert to the differences of customs, traditions and social situations as those differences may result in significant consequences -- sometimes negative.”

In general, students are reminded to practice the same safety protocols they follow in Boulder, which includes traveling in groups, looking out for friends, keeping hydrated, knowing their limits and complying with the law.

“We want our students to have a great break, but also want to remind them to be safe and look out for one another wherever they are during spring break,” said Karen Raforth, interim dean of students and associate vice chancellor for student affairs.

Students who are of age and choose to drink alcohol should do so safely and keep an eye on their friends before, during and after parties.

“I always encourage students to step back and think through their use of alcohol to avoid related problems,” said Matthew Tomatz, counselor and substance abuse coordinator with CU-Boulder’s Counseling and Psychological Services office. “Since drinking can be risky and lead to poor decision-making, it is wise to establish sensible limits before drinking and strategize ways to maintain these boundaries.”

Students planning to drive to an out-of-town destination should drive in shifts and get plenty of sleep before driving. Those planning to travel to the high country should check road conditions and take winter survival kits in their cars. Winter driving tips are available at http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/winter-driving.

This winter, the high country has experienced more avalanches than normal, so students who plan to ski, snowboard or snowshoe need to be extremely careful. Students should check the site they are going to visit for advisories before they go. Information about avalanches, including special advisories, is available at http://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php.

Students also need to remember that the Student Code of Conduct follows them wherever they go. For more information on the Student Code of Conduct visit http://www.colorado.edu/studentaffairs/studentconduct/code.html.

Before leaving for break, students planning to travel internationally should visit the U.S. Department of State’s travel information page, which includes international safety resources and warnings and alerts, at http://travel.state.gov/travel/. General international travel tips are posted at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/tips_1232.html.

Contact:
Larry Bell, International Education, 303-492-8058
Matthew Tomatz, Counseling and Psychological Services, 303-492-1397
Greg Swenson, CU media relations, 303-492-3113

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