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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

March 12, 2013

Northwest encourages students to think safety as spring break approaches

With the spring break season upon students, Northwest Missouri State University is reminding students to make responsible choices while they’re away from the classroom.  

University Wellness Services, University Police and Bearcat Peer Education are sponsoring a series of information sessions, speakers and other events to promote spring break safety. Discussion topics during the events will include distracted driving, skin cancer prevention, suicide prevention and alcohol responsibility.

“Our hope is that students take away some tips and tricks that will help them have fun responsibly on their week away from classes,” said Chris Triplett, a Wellness Services graduate assistant. “It’s important for students to act responsibly during spring break because they are still representing Northwest no matter if they are staying in Maryville or travelling to Cancun. It’s always a good decision to think smart, play responsibly and above all make sure they are looking out for their safety and the safety of those around them.”

The events kick off Wednesday, March 13, with a presentation by Pam Holt, a Springfield-based trauma nurse, about the dangers of distracted driving. Holt’s presentation, “Crash Test dummies: Up Close and Personal,” begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom. It is free and open to the public.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. In the meantime, Missouri College Health’s 2012 behavioral survey found that just 13.5 percent of Northwest students said they never text while driving.

“She is a very engaging speaker and I am certain that anyone who attends will think twice about some of their driving behaviors after the presentation,” said Jennifer Kennymore, health educator at Northwest Wellness Services.

Additionally, dermatologist Dr. Molly Menser will offer a presentation, titled “Skin Cancer: Spot It and Stop It,” Wednesday, March 20, as part of Northwest’s Wellness Wednesday series. Menser will discuss risks and signs of skin cancer as well as ways to protect against the disease. The presentation will be noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Union’s Meeting Room D, and attendees will receive free sunscreen.

At 6 p.m., March 20, in the Student Union Ballroom, Northwest's Delta Chi fraternity will sponsor its fourth annual suicide prevention program. During the presentation Kennymore will discuss suicidal tendencies to look for in friends and family members as well as ways to prevent suicide and seek help. Student organizations GAMMA and To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) also will address alcohol responsibility and the impacts of suicide on loved ones.   

Among Safe Spring Break’s other highlights, the annual Bobbypalooza! event is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, March 21, at the Memorial Bell Tower. The send-off for students will include free food and giveaways.

Northwest’s Safe Spring Break 2013 events are listed below. All events are free and open to the Northwest community.  

For more information about Safe Spring events at Northwest, contact Jennifer Kennymore at or 660.562-1348.

Monday, March 18

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – “Distracted Driving,” presented by GAMMA (Student Union, map area)

8 to 11 p.m. – Millikan Mug Night (Root beer and giveaways, Millikan Hall lounge)

Tuesday, March 19

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – “The Shift Project” (Student Union, map area)

9 to 11 p.m. – Safe Spring Break Trivia Night (Applebee’s)

Wednesday, March 20

Noon to 1 p.m. – Wellness Wednesday: “Skin Cancer: Spot It and Stop It” with Dr. Molly Menser. (Student Union Meeting Room D)

6 to 8 p.m. – Suicide Prevention and Alcohol Responsibility presentation, sponsored by Delta Chi with presentations by GAMMA, TWLOHA and Wellness Services (Student Union Ballroom)

Thursday, March 21

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Bobbypalooza! safe spring break sendoff (Memorial Bell Tower)

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468