Have fun AND stay safe.
That's the message that the University of Arizona will have for students at the annual Spring Break Safety Fair, happening Wednesday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the UA Mall. A wide range of topics related to personal, health and travel safety will be covered at the fair, including sun safety, effects of drug and alcohol abuse, and international travel tips.
Attendees can enjoy free pizza and soda, live music and giveaways from participating vendors.
The fair is themed "Stay Safe, Stay Smart, and Stay Alive" and is hosted by the UA Police Department in partnership with the Associated Students of the UA with support from a Parents & Family Association grant. Participating units and organizations will include the UA Campus Health Service, the UA Women's Resource Center, the U.S. consulates in Mexico office, the Mexican consulate in the U.S., the Rocky Point Tourism and Visitor Assistance Office, the Sonoran Department of Tourism, Customs and Border Protection, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Tucson Police Department.
Cmdr. Joe Bermudez, UAPD crime prevention specialist, said the main goal of the fair is to promote personal safety awareness for students.
"It's important for students to attend because it covers a wide variety of safety tips that they can take with them when they travel for spring break," Bermudez said.
In addition to gathering useful safety tips, students will be able to take a spin through a DUI simulation course and participate in a "mocktail" dance party with a live DJ.
During the party, students will be given a drink – water or some kind of clear soda – and volunteers will attempt to drop a skittle into their cups.
"Students will know they were either safe and they paid attention to their drink, or they will get a card that says your drink has been tainted." Bermudez said. "Luckily, it's just a skittle. It could be worse."
Volunteers will then hand out cards with safety tips that remind students that the legal drinking age is 21, and to never accept drinks from others or leave their drinks unattended.
"Hopefully it will get them thinking, 'If I'm out, things could be serious,'" Bermudez said.
Since its inception in 2005, the Spring Break Safety Fair has grown larger each year as more agencies provide their services and support to promote safety for students. Bermudez added that although it is a fun event, it's also a chance to provide students with tips that can help them stay healthy and safe.
"The overall focus is just safety," Bermudez said. "We want to let them know to enjoy your spring break. We know you've worked hard this school year. Enjoy your spring break, but do it safely."
Spring Recess is March 15-23.