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Campus clears as spring break approaches

Eva Binda | Friday, March 9, 2007

After a week of midterms and deadlines, students on spring break will leave campus to tan in sunnier locations, visit their homes or simply relax on campus to catch up on lost hours of sleep.

For students who choose to go to the beach, popular destinations in previous years have included Mexico and the Bahamas. Junior John Cavanaugh plans to fly south of the border to Mexico with his family and girlfriend, a fellow Notre Dame student.

“I’m looking forward to relaxing – nothing too big or crazy,” Cavanaugh said.

While students like Cavanaugh are in search of repose at the beach, other students will seek adventures in foreign countries, including freshman James Petrocelli. He will be spending the weeklong vacation in the Bahamas and Cuba with a friend from his residence hall.

“I’m very excited, but I’m also a little nervous because it’s a different place,” Petrocelli said. “I’m looking forward to experiencing the Havana nightlife.”

Freshman Conor Troy will experience an unfamiliar nightlife when he visits his older brother, Sean, a junior studying abroad in London.

“We’re also going to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day,” Troy said. “It should be pretty awesome. Hopefully I make it back.”

The University is aware of the risks students may face if they travel abroad, especially to countries where people are allowed to drink alcohol before they are 21 years old – a privilege some worry spring breakers may abuse.

Notre Dame Security/Police sent an e-mail to students on Monday with spring break safety tips and links to Web sites for more travel advice. The list of tips encouraged students to stay alert at all times if they are in unknown regions and use the buddy system. The e-mail also advised students to limit their alcohol consumption.

Further alcohol-related advice has been dispersed this week in a series of campus events, a part of Alcohol Awareness Week.

The event’s organizers – which include student government, the Office of Drug and Alcohol Education, Peers Inspiring Listening, Learning And Responsible Socializing (PILLARS) and the Coca-Cola Company – arranged a blood-alcohol content (BAC) card giveaway, an information fair at LaFortune Student Center and a Safe Spring Break T-shirt giveaway, among other activities, in an effort to promote drinking in moderation.

Not all students, however, will be partying in remote locations with lenient drinking laws.

For students who choose not to cross the country’s boundaries during spring break, going home is a popular alternative.

Courtney Klosterman, a freshman from Arizona, is “looking forward to warmth, sunlight and sleep.”

Sophomore A.J. Sporinsky will also visit his family. As a resident of Granger, Ind., however, he will stay close to campus and plans to work at a campus laboratory throughout the week.

“I’m doing nano research on campus so I’ll be going between here and home,” Sporinksky said. “But I also plan on going out with friends.”

After all, students are looking forward to getting away from the pressures of classes and focusing on relaxation.