Welcome to campus: safety tips

To: UCSC Community

From: Nader Oweis, Chief of Police, UC Santa Cruz Police Department Sue Matthews, Associate Vice Chancellor, Colleges, Housing and Educational Services Mary Knudtson, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Life, and Executive Director, Cowell Student Health Center

Whether you are new or returning to UC Santa Cruz, we would like to welcome all of you to campus. Much work and preparation has been done to begin the academic year, and we want to wish you great success as the quarter begins.
Last year, we began a concerted effort to communicate with all students about our on-going commitment to enhance safety on our campus. As part of this continual effort, please keep in mind that we will have a very visible police presence with additional officers and staff on duty, especially during the first six weeks of school. If you see one of our officers or staff members, please take a moment to engage them in conversation, as we're committed to continue building relationships with the community we serve.
We also want to continue the dialogue we began last year regarding the prevalence of alcohol and other drugs, and overdose deaths. Your health and welfare is our number one concern. Over the past week we have already had several students transported for emergency hospitalizations due to alcohol and/or drug poisoning.
Please be aware of the risks, and avoid putting yourself and your friends in harm's way. Call 911 without hesitation if you suspect someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning or a drug overdose. Even if you aren't sure or don't want any trouble, please call. You could save the life of a fellow student or community member.
As some of you know, the beginning of the school year, and particularly the first few weekends, are times when we see large crowds gathering and/or large parties, both on and off the campus. Now is the time for you to carefully consider your participation in these sorts of events. These planned and impromptu events may get the attention of the UC Santa Cruz Police Department and our local law enforcement partners and result in police intervention that may result in arrest or citation. Additionally, our student conduct officers in the colleges and in the Dean of Students office uphold all campus policies and hold all students accountable for their actions, whether on or off campus.
UC Santa Cruz is a safe place to live and work but it is not crime-free. As you move about the campus and the city, if you see something, say something. Report suspicious behavior, crime, and emergency situations by dialing 911.
This year, Student Health Outreach and Promotion (SHOP) is beginning a new peer education program called Party like a SLUG! What's your Party Plan?. It is based on the philosophy that you can have a fun social life in college without putting yourself or others in danger. That you can drink without bingeing or blacking out. That you can experiment without putting yourself at risk for synergistic overdose. That you can have fun while still taking care of yourself and your peers.
Party Like a SLUG! What's Your Party Plan? Party Safe Ambassadors will strive to provide information, strategies, and opportunities to engage in honest dialogue to help make your partying experience safer and more fun. Learn about creating party plans to make your experience fun and safe!
If you or someone you care about needs support around overuse of alcohol and/or drugs or would like to learn more about obtaining a naloxone kit, utilize the resources provided to students through SHOP in the Cowell Student Health Center. SHOP is a safe, confidential, and nonjudgmental space where students can talk about alcohol and other drugs. SHOP also provides services for students in recovery.
For faculty and staff, assistance is available through the Employee Assistance Program.
Remember, it takes all of us to combat the alcohol and drug-related challenges that we have seen in increasing numbers recently.
We wish you a safe and healthy fall quarter.