GVSU encourages smart spring break choices

By Taylor Fussman | 3/2/16 11:27pm

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GVL / Luke Holmes - A Grand Valley Police Officer gives some tips on how to stay safe during spring break.

by Sara Carte / Grand Valley Lanthorn

As Grand Valley State University's spring break rapidly approaches, university officials provided Lakers with valuable knowledge about how to be safe over the break, no matter what their spring break plans entail.

On Feb. 29, ACES (Alcohol and other drugs Campus Education Services), the Women's Center and the Grand Valley Police Department hosted, "Safe, Not Salty - Staying Safe While Enjoying Spring Break," an event that aimed to promote ways to have fun while still making it home safely.

The event was also co-sponsored by GVSU's Greek life. The chapters directly involved with the planning of the event were Alpha Omicron Pi, Delta Sigma Phi and Delta Zeta.

Eric Klingensmith, coordinator of crisis intervention and ACES, began the night's presentations by discussing how to stay safe while drinking alcohol, saying that he wanted to have an open conversation about how students think they can be safe when alcohol is involved.

One of the tips Klingensmith stressed the most was for each person to find someone they trust and use the buddy system.

Ashley Schulte, GVSU's victim advocate, also presented at the event to explain the importance of bystander intervention, particularly when it comes to sexual assault.

Schulte explained how serious problems such as sexual assault can be prevented if people who see something is wrong do something to put a stop to what is happening.

"Sometimes on spring break, students let their guard down and might not have the same level of safety that they do while on campus," Schulte said. "There are lots of ways spring break trips can be risky, so how can you prepare for that in advance to potentially prevent those things from happening."

Claire Efting, member of Alpha Omicron Pi, said the event was important for the community because of what it could teach students about staying safe.

"As a chapter, we hold responsibility very close to our hearts," she said. "I personally would hate to see anybody get hurt."

GVPD officer Collin Wallace concluded the event with general tips for staying safe and prepared during spring break.

Wallace said that when going on a trip, it is important to have all necessary paperwork in order and to have all flights and hotels booked beforehand. This way, troublesome situations can be avoided and the vacation can be as enjoyable as possible.

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