UTK hosts first Safe Spring Break program

Photo taken by S.E.E. staff of their safe spring break booth on pedestrian
The S.E.E. staff promote Safe Spring Break booth on Pedestrian Walkway. Courtesy of Rosa Thomas.

With spring break fast approaching, this week marked the University of Tennessee’s first Safe Spring Break event put on by Safety, Environment and Education Center (S.E.E.) staff and VOLS 2 VOLS peer educators. Throughout the week S.E.E. has partnered with the UT counseling center, UTPD, two graduate students from college student personnel and two graduate students from the college of social work to set up a booth with trivia and other activities to give students information they need to make safe, healthy choices on a variety of subjects.

“The S.E.E. Center is an office that is here to educate UT students about how to be safe and healthy while they are at UT and beyond,” Laura Bryant, assistant director of S.E.E. said. “If students are interested in becoming involved with our website, we are currently accepting applications for VOLS 2 VOLS peer educators.”

VOLS 2 VOLS peer educators are students that volunteer to help their peers understand how to be healthy.

Topics discussed during the week included underage drinking prevention, prescription drug and marijuana abuse, prevention of alcohol abuse / Volunteers Speak UP, prevention of suicide, the promotion of mental health and the prevention and cessation of tobacco use.

The first 100 students who visited the booth each day received a free Safe Spring Break tank top. Students were encouraged to wear the tank tops while displaying safe behavior during spring break and tweet or instagram photos of themselves to @volshelpvols. A winner will be selected from from the pictures and will receive a prize at the end of the week.

Safe Spring break is a program sponsored in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association called “Our Lives. Our Health. Our Future.” This event is usually held from May 18 to May 24, but since the spring semester will have finished before then, S.E.E gained permission to hold their version of the event earlier.

“Be safe and be smart,” said Shannon Rosedale, a graduate student in the college of social work. “Think about things before you do them because the effects are lasting afterwards.”

VOLS HELP VOLS provides a list of five things for students to remember while on spring break.

  1. If a volunteer goes out with a friend, they come home with a friend. A volunteer does not leave anyone behind.
  2. If a volunteer goes out, they eat before they go and are cautious of pre-gaming. A volunteer remembers they represent the larger community.
  3. If a volunteer chooses to drink, they keep their drink within sight and know their limits. A volunteer is aware of what they put in his or her body.
  4. A volunteer chooses a safe way home before they go out. A volunteer always has a plan.
  5. We are all volunteers. We look out for each other.

Edited by Maggie Jones