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UA to students: Pass on Mexico

Citizen Staff Writer



Spring break for University of Arizona students frequently means a trip south of the border. But this year, UA officials hope collegians will choose another fun-in-the-sun destination.

UA Dean of Students Carol Thompson sent an e-mail last week alerting students to be aware of a travel advisory from the U.S. Department of State that warns of increased border violence tied to gang wars. UA’s spring break is March 14-22.

The advisory, in effect until April, says drug cartels are engaged in “an increasingly violent fight for control of narcotics trafficking routes” between the U.S. and Mexico.

“Due to these circumstances, the University of Arizona Dean of Students Office strongly advises students to avoid travel to Mexico at this time and during spring break,” Thompson wrote.

The State Department first issued the alert in October, according to its Web site. It states certain crimes in the northern region of Mexico are on the rise because of drug cartel activity, including stolen vehicles, bank robberies, petty thefts, public shootouts, kidnappings and homicides.

Thompson said that UA offers tips for safe spring break activities every year, but the advisory prompted officials to take the extra step this year and warn against any travel to Mexico. “In general, Rocky Point is the spring break destination for college students on the West Coast from various college locations,” she said. “We thought, after reading the advisory, that it was wise to let the students know this information and to encourage them to look at other places to go.”

Thompson said UA didn’t offer suggestions of other destinations, but has two programs planned to help students make safe decisions about their spring break activities.

March 1, the Fraternity and Sorority Programs organization will host the second annual Hunter White Safe Spring Break Program at 1 p.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center Ballroom. Speaking at the event will be Mark Sterner, whose drunken-driving during spring break in 2001 killed three friends. The second event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 6, when the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, Thompson’s office and campus police “share a variety of information on how to have a good, safe spring break.”

UA to students: Don’t go to Mexico

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