Volume 92, Issue 80

Thursday, February 18, 1999


Publication notice

Wave assault suspects sign deal

Apology made for election errors

Nervousness surrounds renovation funding

Job opportunities only a click away

Portable home in a box

Marijuana debate rolls into parliamentary hands

Safety an important part of slacking


Caught on campus

Safety an important part of slacking

By Leena Kamat
Gazette Staff

Amid all the fun and sun students will be experiencing next week, safety is still an issue.

Students choosing to travel must be aware they are subject to the laws of the country they are visiting, said Valerie Noftle, spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs.

She added people should always pack their own luggage and never carry anything across the border for anyone else. Many countries have very strict laws and being found with even the smallest amount of drugs could result in death, Noftle said.

She added supplementary travel insurance is important because in some countries, like the United States, medical care can be very expensive.

Western students, who have the student health plan, need not worry about adding insurance to their already high expenses for slack week. Dave Small, VP-finance of the University Students' Council, said students under the USC plan are covered for out of province and out of country medical expenses.

Jim Walden, general manager of the USC, said students can pick up their free travel cards at the InfoSource. If students do not have the travel card when out of the country they can call the USC, Walden added. The USC is negotiating the amount of time a student is covered out of the province, but currently coverage is provided for at least 60 days.

Those off to places like Mexico should look out for danger in the form of pickpockets, said Ivette Sabugal, counsellor assistant at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico. Many taxis in Mexico City aren't too safe as there have been reports of assaults in them, Sabugal said.

Heather McDonald, the health education coordinator of student health services, said alcohol and sex, along with finances, are also big issues during slack week. Students should never leave their drinks unattended and if sex is a possibility, then bringing condoms is very important, she added.

"Sometimes, when on vacation, people don't think the same way," McDonald said. "Just because you're on holiday, nothing has changed."

Const. Wendy McGowan of the University Police Department said those travelling to foreign countries need to be concerned about the safety not only of themselves, but of the possessions they leave behind. "Make sure residences look lived in," she said. She added students should leave their itinerary with someone close just in case of an emergency.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999