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.
Quick Safety Reminders
- Lock all doors and windows during break, draw curtains, and take all valuables with you.
- Immediately report any 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 Clemons Library, Feb. 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., online or at various tabling locations on Grounds tomorrow (Feb. 26) through Thursday, March 1.
- Know the health and legal risks of using illicit drugs.
Work Hard, Play Smart, and Look Out for Each Other
- A significant number of UVA students choose not to drink alcohol, especially when under the legal age. For these students, as well as those 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 break.
- Safe Spring Break packs are available through March 1 for students who sign the ADAPT pledge. Packs will be available at various tabling locations around Grounds. In addition, ADAPT will be hosting an event on Monday, Feb. 26, at Clemons Library, room 407 (near the circulation desk). Food, prizes, and games will be available for students who attend. More information can be found on ADAPT's Facebook page.
- 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, securely 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.
- If you are an international student planning to travel, please review the instructions on the International Studies Office website.
Risks of Illicit Drugs
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 so-called 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 influenced 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 email@example.com. I offer you my best wishes for a safe, fun, and restful Spring Break.
Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students