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Spring Break Message

March 1, 2017
To: 
All University Students
From: 
Allen W. Groves, University Dean of Students

Dear Students:

I am writing as many of you prepare to leave later this week for Spring Break. Much of the information that follows should be relevant whether you are heading home, traveling somewhere else, or staying in Charlottesville.

We recognize that many students may have continuing questions or concerns about international travel in light of recent executive actions. Please know if you do not plan to travel because of distance or other reasons and if you reside in University housing, you can remain in your residence hall during Spring Break. Looking beyond Spring Break, Student Affairs will work with the International Studies Office to identify and address the housing needs of international students. Please reach out to ISO staff member Quynh Nguyen if you are an international student and anticipate needing summer housing. Advisors from ISO's International Student and Scholar Program remain prepared to work with members of our international community regarding immigration enforcement and travel. ISO staff can be reached 24/7 at +1-434-982-3010. International students are encouraged to review the Post-Election FAQ on Immigration Enforcement and Travel, which is updated as needed with new information.

Quick Safety Reminders

  • Lock all doors and windows during break, draw curtains, and take all valuables with you.
  • Immediately report all suspicious activity to 911 if staying in the Charlottesville area.
  • Sign ADAPT's pledge to have a "Safe Spring Break." You can do this at Ern Commons March 1, outside the Chemistry Building March 2, or online.
  • Know the health and legal risks of using illicit drugs.
  • You've worked hard, so play smart, and look out for each other.

Work Hard, Play Smart

  • A significant number of UVA students choose not to drink alcohol, especially when under the legal age. For those students who do choose to drink, the ADAPT peer educators are rewarding students who sign the pledge not to drive after drinking or ride in a car with a driver who is under the influence, and who promise to look out for their friends during the recess.
  • Safe Spring Break packs are available through March 3 for students who sign the ADAPT pledge. Packs will be available outside the Chem Building on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, ADAPT will be hosting an event on Wednesday at Ern Commons from 5 to 6:30 p.m. with food provided. The pledge will also be at the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (lower level of Student Health, 400 Brandon Avenue) all week.
  • Please see the infographic for more safety tips.

Before You Leave (and if You Stay)

  • If you are staying on Grounds or in Charlottesville, recognize that less student foot traffic in the area may invite more criminal activity. Report anything suspicious by calling 911 immediately. Be familiar with altered schedules for UVA buses and UVA dining.
  • Before leaving town, lock the doors and windows of your apartment, house, or room. Draw curtains or shades so valuables will not be visible. If feasible, take valuables with you. Leave an external (porch, deck, etc.) light on for security.
  • If you are traveling abroad, be familiar with all aspects of the area you are visiting and with any policies related to official UVA travel. See studentsabroad.state.gov for helpful planning information, including links to local laws.

Risks of Illicit Drugs, including "Molly" (Ecstasy)

The vast majority of UVA students choose not to use illicit drugs of any kind. Our students know these substances are illegal, frequently contain dangerous contaminants, and even if pure, may cause serious health problems. Tragically, over the years UVA has lost several highly talented students as a result of drinking and driving, alcohol overdose, and use of other drugs, including MDMA (Molly, Ecstasy). Students who are uninformed about party drugs may incorrectly assume that occasional or one-time use carries little risk of harm. However, the use of any drug, including alcohol, can lead to tragic consequences. Each person is impacted differently by the quantity, concentration, and purity of substances they may consume. I urge you to avoid the use of any controlled substance that has not been prescribed to you by your physician. The risks are simply too great.

As always, if my colleagues or I can be of assistance to you, please feel free to contact us at odos@virginia.edu. I offer you my best wishes for a safe, fun, and restful Spring Break.

Sincerely,

Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students