Ensuring a Safe Spring Break
As the spring break season approaches, higher education professionals have a unique opportunity to educate and empower their students on maintaining healthy relationships and practicing safe behaviors. Spring break is often synonymous with fun and relaxation (as it should be!), but it’s essential to promote responsible attitudes surrounding relationships, consent, and sexual health. Here are some effective ways for higher education professionals to guide students in making informed and safe choices during this break:
Interactive Workshops and Seminars. Organize workshops or seminars that focus on healthy relationships, communication skills, and consent. Interactive sessions can engage students in open discussions about mutual respect, boundaries, and the importance of clear communication in any relationship.
Guest Speakers and Experts. Invite professionals, counselors, or experts in sexual violence prevention, alcohol risk reduction, and sexual health to speak to students. Hearing from knowledgeable speakers can provide a new perspective and valuable insights, encouraging students to make informed and healthy decisions.
Promote Consent Education. Emphasize the significance of consent and educate students on what it means in various contexts. Encourage open conversations about boundaries and the importance of obtaining clear and enthusiastic consent before engaging in any intimate activities.
Create Safe Spaces. Establish safe spaces on campus where students feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics. These spaces can be designated for peer-led discussions, support groups, or confidential counseling services that focus on relationship issues and sexual health.
Peer-to-Peer Initiatives. Develop peer-led programs where trained students mentor and guide their peers on responsible behavior during spring break. Peer education can create a more relatable and accessible atmosphere for students to seek advice and information.
Encourage Regular Health Checkups. Remind students about the importance of regular health checkups and sexual health screenings. Provide information about on-campus health services or local clinics where students can access low-cost/free, confidential, and reliable healthcare.
Incorporate Real-life Scenarios. Integrate real-life scenarios into educational sessions, allowing students to explore potential challenges, and practice making responsible decisions. Role-playing activities can enhance their problem-solving skills in a safe and controlled environment.
Promote Accountability and Support. Foster a culture of accountability and support on campus. Encourage students to look out for one another and intervene if they witness any unsafe or inappropriate behavior. Provide resources for reporting incidents and seeking assistance when needed.
By adopting a comprehensive and proactive approach, higher education professionals can contribute significantly to the well-being and safety of their students during spring break. The goal is to empower students with the knowledge and skills to make responsible choices while fostering a campus culture that values healthy relationships and prioritizes the importance of consent and communication.
Dr. Lori Bednarchik is an award-winning college professor and program developer; certified health education specialist, and one of the nation’s leading experts on sexual consent and communication. She talks with students, not to them. Creating a judgment-free space, Lori hopes to have honest, uncensored, positive conversations about sexual assault prevention and healthy relationships. Learn more about Dr. Lori at campuspeak.com/speaker/lori-bednarchik/