To educate students on health and safety practices for the spring break, Residence Life and Housing will be hosting a “Safe Spring Break” event on March 6, at 7 p.m. in the Legacy courtyard.
“Sometimes spring break can have a negative connotation, where you go out and party and do all sorts of things,” Norma Ramirez, assistant director for Residence Life and Housing, said. “For us, we just want to make sure our students are educated; they know what they are doing. It could be related to areas of consent, drugs and alcohol, or just general health, safety and awareness.”
Ramirez said the event is a signature university event that has been held annually since 2007 at least. However, this year the event’s format has been transformed from an informational, fair-type event to a nighttime festival.
“We realized that a lot of the students would participate but it was on their way to and from class so they didn’t stay very long,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said the decision to change the event time was influenced by feedback from students as well as the Residence Housing Association. RHA officials reported a stronger response rate from students last semester after moving their activities to evenings and/or Fridays. So, to increase participation, Safe Spring Break has been scheduled for the Friday before spring break rather than the day before.
Along with Residence Life and Housing, 10 departments and six student organizations have come on board to support the event.
Ruby Garrett, coordinator of student activities in the student involvement office, said the event is significant.
“We think it is an important topic for students, to participate in and to learn about. Sometimes, people forget that Spring Break can be a little crazy,” Garrett said. Garrett said the student involvement office is in charge of creating the atmosphere for the event. This includes organizing food trucks and a live band.
“We will have other activities like the University Programming Board is in our office as well, and they’ll have trashketball,” Garrett said.
Mechanical engineering sophomore Tariq Pratt, who attended the event last year, said it was a great experience.
“From what I can remember, the experience was honestly a very informational and enjoyable one,” Pratt said.
He said some of the activities included wearing “drunk” goggles and riding on a tricycle to replicate drunk driving. The booths provided information such as facts and myths about condoms and drinking tips.
“It’s [the event] important because a lot of students don’t practice safety during that time,” Pratt, who is also a peer mentor, said.
Tariq said he looks forward to the new format, however, he believes that having it at night could be a risk.
“I feel like anything in the night is going to be hit or miss. If persons are actually attracted to the event, I feel nighttime is better for everyone because they won’t necessarily have that immediate excuse of ‘I got class,’” Pratt said.