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College students walking together outdoors

College is nearly back in session, with classes at the University of Nevada, Reno starting Monday, August 27. If your student is heading to the University of Nevada, Reno, here are some college safety tips and resources. If they are attending a different college, be sure to review policies and student resources at their school.

REMSA would like to remind Reno community members of some basic back to college tips and precautions.

Update vaccinations if necessary

  • It’s important for students living and learning in close quarters to be protected from viral illnesses.
  • Students attending a Nevada university must be up to date on the following immunizations:
    – Tetanus, Diphtheria (Td or Tdap)
    – Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
    – Meningitis (MenACWY)
  • Last year, there was a case of measles at the University, and unvaccinated students were required to stay off campus until it was cleared.
  • To learn more about University requirements, visit

Help your first-time college student adjust to living away from home

  • College is fun and exciting, but it can also be extremely stressful for young adults living away from their parents for the first time while trying to fit in with new peers and juggling new commitments like an increased class load, extra-curricular activities, sports and a job.
  • Students can make their transition easier by exploring new interests.
  • Students can meet people with common interests through on-campus clubs and organizations.
  • Encourage students to attend welcome week and other university-sponsored events like club fairs.
  • Parents should keep in close contact with children for the first months of the transition and can encourage students to also speak to a university counselor, which are available through the University Counseling Services.
  • Ensure students know where to find academic help. The University offers tutoring, math and writing.
  • Students can form study groups with others in their classes to work on homework, prep for tests and more.
  • Keeping a planner is a great way to keep track of assignments from all classes. There are also digital planner apps students can use.

Make dorm life easy

  • Resident halls at the University open Thursday, August 23. Pay close attention to your student’s scheduled move-in time.
  • Reference this residential life checklist from the University to make sure your student has everything they need to succeed.
  • Students should bring personal items that make their dorm room feel like home, as long as the item is allowed in the dorms.
  • It’s also a good idea to have a first aid kit in the dorms just in case.

Ensure students understand safe drinking behaviors

  • College transition is often associated with risky behaviors such as excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Have a serious conversation about alcohol with students before they head off to college.
    – Remind students that the legal drinking age is 21.
    – Review the University alcohol policy here.
  • For students who are old enough to drink, remind them:
    – Don’t drink and drive, and never ride with someone who has been drinking. Always be prepared to arrange a safe and sober ride home.
    – Alternating between alcoholic drinks and water can help you stay hydrated.
    – Don’t accept drinks from strangers and beware of others tampering with your drink – never leave your drink unattended.
  • Use the buddy system at parties and bars and keep an eye on your friends. Attend bystander trainings, understand explicit consent and know how to intervene when necessary.
    – Reports of sexual assault are never taken lightly. The University strongly encourages the reporting of these incidents if they occur and recognizes that many avenues for reporting must be open. Support for survivors of sexual assault is paramount, and the University has programs and services in place to help.
  • If you suspect a friend has had too much to drink, it could mean alcohol poisoning. Look for these signs:
    – Inability or difficulty walking or standing
    – Difficulty staying awake
    – Vomiting
    – Severe confusion
    – Seizures
    – Irregular breathing
    – Pallor and chills
  • If you think a friend may have alcohol poisoning, call 9-1-1 immediately. You can consider calling an ambulance or finding a sober ride with your friend to the hospital.
  • The simplest way to prevent alcohol poisoning is for you and your friends to help each other stay accountable and not overdrink.


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