NKU educates students on Spring Break safety

Karen Plunkett, Reporter

What do free pizza, suntan lotion, and flavored condoms all have in common? These items and more were in the University Center lobby for the first ever “Lead the Break” event.

Wednesday March 4 the Health, Counseling and Student Wellness center sponsored a new event focused on Spring Break safety.

“Hundreds of thousands of students go on spring break each year and the statistics are terrifying as far as how many are injured, assaulted, or die as a result of alcohol and other related incidents. So we wanted to bring some awareness on spring break, how to be safe, things you can do.” Shiobhan Ryan-Perry, alcohol and drug counselor, said.

During spring break,approximately 42 percent of students get drunk on at least one day, 11 percent drink to the point of blacking out or passing out, 32 percent report hangovers, and two percent get into trouble with the police, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Students test out the drunk goggles.
Karen Plunkett
Students test out the drunk goggles.

“We want to make students aware about responsible drinking and avoid dangers that could happen anytime of the year, especially during spring break.” Betsy Hausfeld, campus nurse, said.

Health, Counseling, and Student Wellness, Norse Violence Prevention Center, and a representative from St. Elizabeth behavioral each had a table set up with pamphlets and free stuff to educate students about the dangers and how to stay safe during spring break.

“I think it’s a great way to actually get students involved in learning about what’s going on with their health. “ Precious Davis, junior biology major, said.

She liked how they had different stations set up to learn about different aspects of health, like alcohol safety.

“I learned about alcohol tolerance that I didn’t really know about when driving. If I can’t walk a line, then how are people driving,” Davis said. “It really made me realizes how dangerous it is.”
Health, Counseling and Student Wellness had a survey for students to take with questions regarding their plans for spring break.

This event wasn’t just for the spring breakers who will be heading south to get away from the snow and cold weather; students who will be taking a “stay-cation” also need to be informed.

“I’ve heard people talking about going to Florida and I know there are service trips some students are going on, as well as a lot of people do a stay-cation too. Even if you do a stay-cation, other schools are off and people get reconnected with friends so these issues are important for everyone.” Hausfeld said.

Students had a tough time attempting to walk a straight line while wearing drunk goggles.

“I think it was a really good stimulation of what it’s like trying to walk while drunk. I knew where my feet were but my eyes were somewhere completely different.” Kelsy Petersman, freshman business and marketing major, said.
Overall Ryan-Perry and Hausfeld thought the event went well and were pleased to see students asking questions and interested in learning how to stay safe during spring break.DSCN2121Karen Plunkett

“This is our first year doing an event like this. So we are using this as our baseline to figure out, what works and doesn’t work. I think it went really well, we premade 100 packets of survival kits and we went through them by lunch time,” Ryan-Perry said. “So it went really well, we had about 100 people register for gifts and we handed out a lot of information.”

Next year Ryan-Perry and Hausfeld hope to have eight peer educators certified who will be walking around campus engaging students along with a little more spring break-like atmosphere including Hawaiian shirts and music.