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UTSA Police Chief offers tips to keep students safe over Spring Break

UTSA Police Chief offers tips to keep students safe over Spring Break

MARCH 11, 2022 — Amid the excitement preparing for spring break, UTSA Chief of Police Stephanie Schoenborn encourages students to be cautious while having fun.

Schoenborn said it's a wonderful time for students to unwind, relax and take a break from their studies, but she hopes students remain safe while doing so. Most importantly, she suggests taking advantage of ride-shares during the spring break holiday.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there were 872 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes over the course of spring break last year, resulting in 30 fatalities and 107 serious injuries.

“If there’s one thing that is so preventable, it’s not getting behind the wheel of a car when you’re impaired,” Schoenborn said. “We are the largest state institution of this region and we want our campus and our community to be safe.”

“It is so important to advocate for your own safety and for others as well.”

Officials from TxDOT visited the UTSA Main Campus this week and presented the “Drive Sober. No Regrets.” campaign as a reminder of the consequences that result from driving drunk. The event included a video exhibit featuring testimonials and vision alcohol-impairment goggles that students were able to try on while attempting to drive or walk in a straight line.

UTSA senior Jose Pague thought the event provided a good perspective for students.

“You think you can drive, but all it takes is one mistake and the likelihood of that happening while drunk is way higher than being sober,” Pague said.

In addition to using ride-shares or securing a designated driver, Schoenborn said there are plenty of measures students can take prior to enjoying their spring break plans. She noted students should be aware of their surroundings and have conversations with friends to establish boundaries.

“If they’re in a situation they don’t feel comfortable in, they need to speak up and make sure they communicate with their friends that something is not right,” Schoenborn said. “It is so important to advocate for your own safety and for others as well.”

Schoenborn recommended the Green Dot Bystander Intervention initiative, facilitated by UTSA Wellbeing Services, as a critical resource that could be of aid to students, not only as they prepare for spring break but for any time throughout the year.

Green Dot is a nationally recognized anti-violence initiative aimed at decreasing and preventing the occurrence of harassment through workshops. Overview sessions introduce students to the basic issues of power-based personal violence prevention, while Green Dot Training sessions equip students with skills to increase their proactive and reactive bystander behaviors. A “green dot” is any behavior, choice, word or attitude that promotes safety and counteracts any form of violence.

Learn how the UTSA Police Department keeps the campus community safe.
Download the Live Safe App.

Students are also encouraged to download the LiveSafe App. The app crowdsources safety and security notices, offers a SafeWalk feature that allows families and friends to track their loved ones as they walk home, includes an anonymous reporting feature, and allows students, faculty and staff to share their location in an emergency.

“The important piece is we want everybody to return safely and be able to graduate and move forward with their lives,” Schoenborn said. “We’re here to give everybody the tools to succeed.”

Ari Castaneda

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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