Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Break Party Rules

The Frat Boy News Daily College Column
By the editorial staff of De Anza College's La Voz Online

The recent rape allegations involving De Anza College athletes are no doubt shocking. Unfortunately, what is not so shocking is the setting where the alleged crime took place: a house party mixed with drinking and young adults that was a recipe for disaster, evident by the recent charges.

With spring break around the corner, students are already itching to party, making plans for their time to let loose. Spring break partying and vacations sound good in theory, but what many people don't realize is that despite innocent intentions, things can quickly go awry.

Here are a few basic safety tips:

1. Let someone know where you are.
Tell someone who is not going with you where you are going, who you are with, what time you expect to be home and the numbers to reach you. This person will be able to call authorities should you not be home on time or not answer your phone. The earlier the authorities are alerted, the better the chances of finding you safely.

2. Have a designated driver.
If you know that there will be drinking, decide before you go who will remain sober for the drive home. If this person is unable to keep their commitment, call a back-up driver or parent.

3. Have your cell phone with you at all times.
If you don't have one, make sure someone in your group does.

4. Use a buddy system.
This is especially important for women and when going to unfamiliar places. Make an agreement that you will not be separated and will leave together no matter what. Groups are ideal and strongly recommended.

5. Know your limits.
If you must drink, do so in moderation. Drinking increases your risk of being a perpetrator and/or victim of sexual assault, and contributes to poor judgment.

6. Always wear a seatbelt when riding in a car.

7. Trust your intuition.
If something doesn't feel right, leave immediately. In truth, nothing can take back what happened the fateful night of the alleged rape. And while the case has yet to be tried and no formal charges have been made, this is just one instance of far too many alleged cases of date-rape. But if students make smarter decisions and practice safety in a party atmosphere, then perhaps these occurrences can stop altogether.

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