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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Getting ready for spring break

Students planning on going to Mexico for spring break might want to rethink their plans after an increase in violence because of drug problems.
“Although spring break is still more than two weeks away, University officials already have underway a comprehensive program alerting students and their parents of dangers along the border and of the State Department’s travel alert about Mexico,” said Sherylon Carroll, associate vice president for communications at Texas A&M.
Thaís Mac??do, a junior international studies and economics major, said she was not worried about taking her spring break trip to Puerto Vallarta with two other women.
“I am worried [about the fighting in Mexico] to an extent, but not really,” she said. “I grew up in the third most violent city in Brazil; I know not to wear ostentatious jewelry and don’t show off I’m American.”
Macedo said another reason she was not as worried was because Puerto Vallarta was not on the border. Though, according to the Associated Press, there have been killings in places away from the border, such as Acapulco and Cancun.
A&M does have programs set up to inform students of the problems.
“Student Affairs representatives plan to underscore the warning when they conduct a ‘safe spring break’ program for students next week and have so warned in a monthly message sent to parents,” Carroll said.
Safe Spring Break Week is the first week of March and will include information and giveaways located on different parts of campus. The purpose of the week is to inform students of common problems they might encounter during the break, such as drowsy driving and responsible decisions regarding alcohol, safety, health and wellness.
Student Affairs want to make sure students are safe over the break.
“[Student Affairs] have forwarded the State Department travel alert to The Battalion, with encouragement to notify students via that channel, and are contemplating distribution of an electronic message that goes out to all students,” Carroll said.
The U.S. State department issued a travel alert in February that warned travelers should understand the risks of travel to Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations and who to contact if one becomes a crime victim.
Travelers should only visit legitimate business and tourist areas during the day, and avoid areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur, according to the State Department.
Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places, according to the State Department. In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped across Mexico. Many of these cases remain unresolved.
Travelers should let someone who is not traveling with them, like a family member, know their daily schedule. They should check with their cellular provider to make sure their phones will work on a GSM or 3G international network.
The U.S. Mission in Mexico restricts non-essential travel to the state of Durango and all parts of the state of Coahuila south of Mexican Highways 25 and 22 and the Alamos River for U.S. government employees assigned to Mexico because of the increase in assaults, murders and kidnappings in those areas. The situation in northern Mexico remains fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted, according to the State Department.
Safe Spring Break eventsMonday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Resource Fair, Wehner Building
Tuesday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Resource Fair, H2O Fountain
Wednesday 1 p.m., Ultimate Travel Seminar, Koldus 144;5 p.m., Self Defense and Travel Safety, Rudder 404
Thursday 11:30 p.m., Free Water Distribution, Hurricane Harry’s
Friday 8 p.m., Aggie Nights – Free Concert, Rudder Fountain
Saturday 11:30 p.m., Free Water Distribution, Northgate

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