As the 2016 Mardi Gras season quickly approaches, students are encouraged to stay cautious during the upcoming parades and celebrations.

“As a New Orleans native, I have to say that Mardi Gras is one of my favorite holidays though it can be very dangerous,” said Ezinne Agwaramgbo, sophomore biology pre-med major, “When I attend parades with my friends I always make sure my phone is completely charged and I stay close to my friends.”

During the Mardi Gras season, it is recommended that students travel in large groups of three to four students and remain together at all times. “Students should be mindful of their surroundings and strangers that may try to approach them,” said Officer Osannah Harrison with the Xavier University Police Department “I advise students not to go anywhere with strangers, even if they do appear to be students.”Though Mardi Gras celebrations can lead you to various areas of New Orleans, students should be aware of certain dangerous areas “I recommend that students stay away from the 9th Ward located in New Orleans East, Gert Town, as well as other unsafe locations,” Harrison said.

“If students decide to go on Bourbon Street, I suggest they don’t drink and they go with a group of students.”While students look forward to this enjoyable holiday every year, knowing how to remain safe is important. “When students attend parades in New Orleans they should make sure there are officers present,” Harrison said, “As an officer for XUPD, my concern is the safety of our students.” Safety begins with awareness and ensures that everyone enjoys the holidays to the fullest.

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