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If you play your cards right, you can stay safe over Spring Break and eliminate the need to talk to Emergency communications specialist Ashley Newton. (Photo by Lewis Geyer/Staff Photographer)

SPRING BREAK WHOOO!

The one-week vacation in the middle of the spring semester is as much a part of the college experience as actually going to classes, and the University of Colorado Boulder’s break is coming up on March 23.

Stay safe out there. You can get ticketed for riding drunk just like if you were driving a car. And if you normally leave your bike outside, consider storing it inside during the break.

But before you go running out the door in your aloha shirt singing “Margaritaville,” here are some tips so that, years from now, you will tell people memories of #SpringBreak2020 with a smile on your face. Because I don’t care how the saying goes, there are still laws even if you are drinking White Claws.

CU’s safety tips for students

  • Remember to use the buddy system. Don’t walk alone, and don’t leave friends alone while out at night.
  • If you are out at night, remember it is harder for drivers to see you. Wear lighter colors.
  • Police officers and other emergency services personnel work to keep the community safe. Your assistance in maintaining a safe environment is appreciated.
  • People who want to exploit others often take advantage of the party environment and hope to go unnoticed. So if you doubt someone’s motives or are concerned about your or someone else’s safety, keep an eye on the situation and know when to make the hard call for help.
  • If you ever think a friend is in danger due to alcohol or other drugs, call 9-1-1.
  • Remember to be a good neighbor and keep your noise levels down. If you are hosting a party off-campus, please remember to sign up for the Party Registration Program.
  • If you plan to leave town for spring break, practice the same safety protocols you follow in Boulder, which includes traveling in groups, looking out for friends, keeping hydrated, knowing your limits and complying with the law.
  • Students planning spring break trips to nontraditional destinations outside the United States are advised to check first with the U.S. Department of State, which issues travel warnings and advisories.
  • Students planning a trip to go through a reputable travel agency and avoid giving out personal information unless they know the person is legitimate to avoid scams.
  • Students leaving for the week who usually leave their bikes outside also should consider stashing them inside to remove the temptation from bike thieves, he advised.

Of course, there are also lots of things to do in Boulder or the Denver area should you choose to stay put for the week.

On campus, CU’s police dispatch center receives both calls and texts to 911, while their dispatch line at 303-492-6666 can be called in a non-emergency. Off campus, Boulder police can be reached for non-emergencies at 303-441-3333 or 911 for emergencies.

Victims of crimes that are non-emergencies — including theft, graffiti and traffic concerns — are encouraged to use the online system, which is easy and convenient for victims, who can file a report at colorado.edu/police/records-reports/online-reporting-campus-incidents.

Keep these tips in mind and you should have a fun and memorable spring break.

Oh, and not to sound like your mother, but also remember to use sunscreen.

Alternative spring breaks

What: CU’s alternative spring break program combines education on social justice issues with volunteer work.

When: Information sessions are at 5 p.m. Jan. 22, and Feb. 5 in UMC 415-417.

Learn more: colorado.edu/volunteer/ab/about.

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