We are excited to welcome you back to Athens and campus. Seeing everyone in person again reminds us that our community is large, vibrant, and wonderfully diverse. With more than 40,000 students at UGA this fall, campus is busy and the positive energy is palpable.
As we begin to settle in, we write to remind you of how important it is that we all make informed decisions that facilitate our own safety, security, and well-being, as well as the safety, security and well-being of those around us. Although the beginning of the semester can be busy—and we realize you are receiving a lot of information about classes and campus activities—we want you to know that your personal safety and emotional and mental well-being are our top priorities. UGA offers a number of safety and well-being resources to support you.
Campus safety is the collective responsibility of the entire UGA community. The University of Georgia Police Department and Athens-Clarke County Police Department are available 24 hours a day and can be reached by dialing 911.
One of the keys to personal safety is environmental awareness. Discuss environmental factors that you consider unsafe with friends, and avoid situations that appear dangerous or that make you uncomfortable. If unsafe circumstances cannot be changed, leave the area, or call the police.
We strongly recommend downloading the UGA Safe App from the Apple or Google Play stores. The UGA Safe app offers users several important safety features and enhancements, including the ability to share your location in real-time with UGA police or a friend; text directly with UGA Police; find well-being resources; see tips for responding to an emergency; report a crime, safety, or other concern along with photo/video; and more. Learn more about the app at prepare.uga.edu/uga-safe.
The UGA Main Library and McBay Science Library will be limited to members of the UGA community after 9 p.m. The Miller Learning Center will be limited to members of the UGA community after 10 p.m. Students entering those facilities after those times must present their student ID. Read more at https://libs.uga.edu/news/uga-libraries-study-space-access-update.
If you choose to consume alcohol, please do so legally and in a responsible manner. Arrange for a friend to serve as a designated driver, or rely on a trusted source for a ride. When you go out for an evening off-campus, avoid isolated areas and travel with others. If using a ride share app, consider communicating your travel plans with friends, wait in a safe place, confirm the license plate and make of the vehicle, and ask the driver who they are picking up. If you must travel alone, consider using the UGA Safe app’s “Friend Walk” feature to communicate your travel plans with friends, and never hesitate to call 911 if you need police.
Law Enforcement agencies in Athens-Clarke County and across the nation report an increase in overdoses (OD) caused by drugs mixed with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin or morphine, and is commonly mixed into other substances without the knowledge of the person consuming it, leading to accidental OD or death. One common source is fake pills that resemble Adderall or Xanax.
Whether in Athens, on campus, or elsewhere, assume that any pill or drug not purchased directly from a pharmacy could contain fentanyl. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), nearly half of all counterfeit pills tested contained a lethal dose of fentanyl.
To learn more about the signs of an overdose, visit www.cdc.gov/opioids/overdoseprevention.
When in doubt, call 911. Under UGA’s Responsible Action Protocol, students who seek emergency assistance for an alcohol or other drug related emergency may not be subjected to alcohol or other drug sanctions under UGA’s Code of Conduct.
If you are concerned about someone’s use, or if you are looking for support, confidential substance use counseling is available from the Fontaine Center at the University Health Center by calling 706-542-8690.
The university has been monitoring reports of monkeypox from the around the state. The University Health Center clinical staff are trained and fully prepared to identify any patient presenting with signs and symptoms consistent with monkeypox infection. Click here for updated information on monkeypox: https://healthcenter.uga.edu/healthtopics/monkeypox-information/
Similarly, seek to remain aware of all aspects of your health and well-being, and the well-being of those around you, and take time to focus on your mental health in particular. When it comes to your health and well-being, know that you have the support you need, any time, any place. Whether you are on campus, studying from home, or studying abroad, UGA is here for you.
- Well-being Resources: https://well-being.uga.edu/
- Student Care and Outreach: https://sco.uga.edu/
- University Health Center: https://healthcenter.uga.edu/
- Counseling and Psychiatric Services: https://caps.uga.edu/
- Health Promotion: https://healthpromotion.uga.edu/
To learn more about campus well-being resources, visit BeWellUGA Fest on September 7 at the Tate Student Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take care of yourselves and each other, and thank you for doing your part to keep our campus community safe. We are proud of you, our amazing students, and look forward to a great semester.
Victor K. Wilson, Vice President for Student Affairs
P. Daniel Silk, Chief of Police
Beau Seagraves, Associate Vice President for Student Well-being