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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Spring breakers get travel tips

File+photo+%2F+The+Daily+WildcatStudents+practice+safety+techniques+with+a+dummy+on+the+UA+Mall+during+the+Spring+Break+Safety+Fair+in+February+2013.+More+participants+and+informational+booths+will+be+present+at+the+fair+this+year+than+previously.

File photo / The Daily Wildcat

Students practice safety techniques with a dummy on the UA Mall during the Spring Break Safety Fair in February 2013. More participants and informational booths will be present at the fair this year than previously.

As students gear up for spring break amidst midterms and projects, safety is another important concern on their minds, which is what the annual Spring Break Safety Fair plans to address Wednesday.

The annual Spring Break Safety Fair is hosted by the University of Arizona Police Department and Associated Students of the University of Arizona to provide students with safety and travel information regardless of where they are going. 

The fair, free to the public and themed “Stay Safe, Stay Smart, Stay Alive,” will take place Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the UA Mall, between Old Main and the Cactus Garden. There will be music, food, promotional items, giveaways and T-shirts.  

Several agencies will set up booths to answer questions and provide useful information. Additionally, Joe Bermudez, a UAPD officer and crime prevention specialist, will be present with other officers to give advice and tips to avoid dangerous situations during spring break.

“Most students want to travel during spring break, so the information available is geared toward preventing or removing an opportunity for crime to occur,” Bermudez said. “You want to utilize the buddy system, and make sure you have phone numbers of your friends and vice versa.”

Preventative information available from UAPD ranges from staying hydrated and using sunscreen to traveling safely on airplanes. Contact information will also be available in case students find themselves in any risky situations.

The Spring Break Safety Fair has been at the UA since 2005 and gets bigger every year through the networking and expansion of participating informational agencies.

Motivation for the fair’s origin can be traced to horror stories about what could happen during spring break. According to Sona Rose Shahbazian, a junior studying physiology and Spanish and Portuguese, as well as the subcommittee chair for SBSF, UA students should know how to avoid certain situations and know what to do when something goes wrong so they can come back and finish the semester. 

Shahbazian worked to obtain promotional materials and recruited the student clubs in hopes of getting students the information they need. 

“I think we had 33 participants last year, and now there are over 40,” Bermudez said.

The participants include the U.S. Consulate in Mexico, the Sonoran Department of Tourism, Campus Health Service, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Student Health Advocacy Committee, SafeCats and University Emergency Medical Services. 

“The Spring Break Safety Fair is super interactive,” Shahbazian said. “Safety may not be the coolest topic to think about, but we hope to present all of our information in a way that makes students want to learn about how to make their own personal safety a priority.”

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