Director of Public Safety urges students to stay safe during spring break

Photo courtesy of Grace Cockrell/JSU

Emily Ford, Correspondent

As spring break approaches, it is important to consider the potential dangers associated with it and what steps you can take to have a safe spring break.

Michael Barton, Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety, offers many tips on how students can stay safe amid the chaos of spring break. 

Many risks associated with spring break are directly related to alcohol consumption, according to Barton. Because of this, he urges students to drink responsibly and have a plan in place before drinking. 

Some of his tips for drinking responsibly include choosing a responsible designated driver to get drinkers safely back to a residence and knowing when it’s the right time to stop drinking. 

It’s important for individuals to make these decisions before drinking to ensure that judgment ability is not impaired when making such important choices. Drinking and driving is one of the most common and fatal dangers seen during spring break.

According to Barton, there are many alcohol related injuries reported each year from students who are partying at the beach, as it is one of the most common spring break destinations. This is why students should practice water safety by avoiding water activities after drinking.

“Doing water activities on the beach can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol,” Barton said.

Many sexual assaults also occur during spring break because people often make decisions they wouldn’t if they were sober, and others try to take advantage of people who are under the influence.

To protect yourself from these attackers, Barton recommends paying close attention to who you allow in your inner circle.

“As it relates to sexual assaults that we see increase, make sure to practice good common sense by hanging out with people that you can trust and that are not going to try to take advantage of you,” Barton said. “And that you have trusted people with you that can step in if things start to go in an unhealthy direction.”

Barton said students should always let someone know where they are going to be.

“It’s important that someone else who is not with you knows where you’re going and what you’re going to be doing, whether that’s a family member or a trusted friend,” Barton said. “This means there will be some accountability if you don’t show back up or they can’t get in touch with you because they will know where you are, and they can check on you to make sure everything is okay.”

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