Spring Break - Safety First

WMU's spring break week begins next  Friday, March 1 with Spirit Day. The residence halls remain open for students choosing to stay on campus. Students need to advise hall directors of their plans to stay in the halls during the break week. Hall services and meal availability will be reduced throughout the week.

Many students are looking forward to a well-deserved break from the rigors of the semester and some are heading to warmer locations for some fun in the sun. T
alking with your student about their safety and well-being is always important, whether a first-year student or one fully settled into the college experience. We hope our kids won't engage in any harmful activities and these tips may serve as valuable reminders  about responsible behavior when they are confronted with choices. Some points to talk about: 

While I'm Away...(whether living on or off campus)
  • Don't announce your absence on social networking sites or elsewhere. 
  • Secure electronics and other valuables out of plain sight.
  • Make sure doors and windows are securely locked and close the curtains or blinds so no one can see inside your room or apartment. (Not just during break week, but also any time you are away.)
  • For off-campus students, make arrangements for mail delivery. Either arrange with the post office to hold your mail or ask someone to pick up your mail regularly.
  • Don't hide a spare key in an easily accessible location.
Kick Back and Relax...(responsibly)
Underage drinking is against the law and consequences are always severe! The safest choice is not to drink even if your student is of legal age. But if your student chooses to drink, urge them to be responsible and safe about it. Advise your student to:  
  • Eat before you drink - do not drink on an empty stomach.
  • Make sure you have a non-drinking designated driver.
  • Stick with your friends - those you know and trust.
  • Set a limit on how many drinks you are going to consume - never more than one drink per hour.
  • Never leave your drink unattended and always say no if you are offered drinks by strangers.
  • Know that ANY amount of alcohol can impair judgment - more so under certain conditions.
  • Never "mix" alcohol with prescription or other drugs.  
Enjoying vacation...(with no regrets)

Your student may find that being away brings with it pressure to be sexually active. Consider warning your student that sex mixed with alcohol can be physically and emotionally dangerous. Always ensure there is clear consent. If under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, be aware that personal consent may be confused and misunderstood.  

Other important tips to discuss:
  • Be mindful of local laws (seat belt use, helmet use, underage consumption, etc.) and understand that consequences can be severe.
  • Protect yourself at the beach or ski slopes; appropriate attire, sun block, safety equipment, etc.
  • Stick to a predetermined budget for the week. Keep track of your cash and credit cards (and passport if applicable).
  • Stay with your friends at all times; if there's a disagreement, take time to work it out. Don't wander off by yourself in an unfamiliar location.
  • Make sure someone has your emergency contact information.
  • Think twice before considering body piercing and body art. It may seem like a great idea at the moment, but maybe not so great later on.
We know these topics are not always easy conversations to have with your student but your guidance can be essential in ensuring safe and responsible decisions. We want every student to have a relaxing and SAFE spring break. 

June 2019: Join your incoming new student for Orientation!
Oct. 11-13: Save the date for Homecoming and Family Weekend 2019!
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Western Michigan University
Family Engagement 
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008
(269) 387-4820