Monday, February 26, 2024

It’s almost time for spring break! Spring break begins on Sunday, March 10 and concludes on Sunday, March 17.

The residence halls will remain open, and students are welcome to stay on campus if they have registered to do so. However, if you’re leaving your residence hall during this time, don’t forget to lock your doors, take your keys with you, and avoid propping residence hall doors open for any reason.

Here are a few additional tips for a safe spring break:

  • Close, lock, turn off. Don’t leave your valuables in plain view in your home, residence hall room, or vehicle during your vacation. Lock your doors, and turn off alarm clocks, lights, etc. Take out any trash to avoid pests or unpleasant smells upon your return. Let someone know you are leaving town, such as a trusted neighbor, family member or friend. Plan care for your pets, especially if you are leaving the country.
  • Prep your home for weather before you leave. Close your windows to secure your space and avoid frozen pipes. If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees. Arrange for someone to shovel your sidewalk and driveway in your absence if this is not handled by your landlord.
  • Arrive safely. Monitor the weather forecast and road construction. Avoid driving during dangerous winter weather conditions or driving through the night to reach your destination. If you do drive at night, make sure one passenger stays awake to talk to the driver. Make sure a friend or family member knows where you’re going, your planned route, and your estimated time of arrival.
  • Pack a car safety kit. Make sure your gas tank is full. Keep a windshield scraper, jumper cables, a small shovel, flashlight, phone charger/battery pack, blanket, additional warm clothing, drinking water, and snacks in your vehicle.
  • Dress for the weather, hydrate, and wear sunscreen. Whether you’re going someplace warm or cold, pack appropriate clothing, drink plenty of water, and wear sunscreen to avoid the risk of sunburn.
  • Use the buddy system. Don’t go off on your own. Stay with your group, and don’t leave a party with a stranger. Establish a place to meet in advance if you get separated. If you do leave your friends, let them know exactly where you’re going and when they should expect you to return. Create a code word to use if you are in an uncomfortable situation and need a friend to intervene.

For travel outside the country:

  • Bring a copy of your passport. Keep your passport and extra money locked in a safe in your hotel room when you are gone during the day. Bring a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate location in case the original is lost or stolen.
  • Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service will alert you to the latest security updates from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate while you’re abroad.
  • Share your travel itinerary. Let trusted friends and family know your plans and check in with them along the way.
  • Know what to do in an emergency. The number for emergency response in other countries is not 9-1-1. Do research ahead of time, and program the appropriate emergency phone number into your contacts. The U.S. Department of State keeps an updated list.