Health Center Safe Spring Break

The University of Georgia Health Center holds a reception to promote a safe spring break on March 4, 2015 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Mercedes E. Bleth)

The University Health Center hosted its annual “Safe Spring Break” event in the Tate Student Center today as part of its #BeWellUGA campaign. This was the first year that the event was hosted in the Tate Student Center.

With spring break quickly approaching, the health center wanted to remind students to be smart and safe during their travels. UHC student groups and specialty clinics, such as Healthy Dawg Ambassadors and RSVP (Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention), set up multiple stations to encourage positive decisions and behavior among UGA students.

“We’re here to promote good health and good choices for a time when college students tend to make not so great decisions,” said Jennifer Tran, a junior health promotions major from Atlanta and member of Healthy Dawg Ambassadors.

Students had the opportunity to visit each station, learning about vision and dental care, drug and alcohol awareness, body positivity and sexual education awareness. The stations also included games, free merchandise and other resources.

“Spring break is fun, but it’s not fun when something like sexual assault or an alcohol-related incident occurs,” said Senior Communications Coordinator Kristine Groft. “We want to make sure students are well prepared and have good ideas about prevention."

Groft said she wants to raise awareness on bystander intervention, encouraging students to be active “WatchDawgs” during their spring break activities. A “WatchDawg” refers to a UGA student who takes an oath to watch out for fellow friends and intervene when presented with a potentially hazardous situation.

“We want you to have fun, but have fun without losing sight of being smart,” Groft said.

Even if students weren’t planning on engaging in any risky or dangerous behaviors over their spring break, they still received useful tips on skin care, nutrition, eyewear and dental hygiene.

“The alcohol and drug tips may not apply to me directly, but I think it’s still good to learn about for my friends and others,” said Nana Boateng, a junior nutritional science major from Ghana.

While topics of sexual education or alcohol are often talked about in private, students liked how open and honest the event was.

“I like this event because it doesn’t make anything taboo. It is very out in the open, I can go to each of the stations at my own pace and I feel comfortable talking to the people working them,” said Nanditha Menon, a freshman international affairs and marketing major from the Canary Islands.