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Beware of ice on campus!

Icy SidewalkIf you think a full cup of coffee, holding a baby or extreme caution can save you, you’re wrong.

Ice will take down just about every person at least one time during the winter. And while the least that could happen to someone who slips are wet pants or few cuts and bruises, broken bones and head injuries are also possibilities.

Most people already know this. But to echo a reminder to people about what can be done about tough spots on campus, the following is what needs to be done after a fall has happened.

1) Get a witness. After falling down, the last thing most people want to do is strike up a conversation to anyone who witnessed the humiliation. But do it. The Incident report form for the University of Alaska System requests a witness’ name, address, phone number and relationship to you. If you feel uncomfortable about asking for someone’s address, still get their phone number.

2) Immediately write down the incident with some degree of detail. Where did it take place? What time was it? Where were the bruises again? While people have 48 hours to fill out a report, the more details initially noted will only add to the legitimacy of any claims made later.

 3) Make note of anything that might have been broken by the incident. Check all the electronic devices on you. Ensure your phone, laptop, iPad, and electronic reader are all working.

4) Take photos of injuries. It’s a good idea to take photos of injuries. A small scrape on an ankle can be more telling if it swells within 24 hours and is diagnosed later as sprained or broken.

5) Report the problem areas immediately to the facilitites maintenance office. They can be reached at 907-786-6980. It’s just common courtesy to help fellow students stay safe.

Now these suggestions aren’t made to be paranoid. They’re made to keep people safe and protect investments. In every case involving injury, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Written by J. Almendarez

J. Almendarez is a journalism junior who transferred to UAA this fall from San Antonio College, located in South Texas. At SAC, she worked at the national award winning student publication, The Ranger, as a reporter, photographer, Multimedia Editor and Executive Editor. After graduation next fall, she plans to work as a reporter for a daily in South Texas. Eventually, she would like to earn a Master's degree in Media Convergence. After a long career in journalism, she will go back to San Antonio College, teach a reporting class and die while preaching in front of a group of students about the importance of legit journalism and AP Style.