St. Patrick's Day Safety Tips
Updates from Lexington
St. Patrick’s Day can be a wild celebration on some campuses, with out-of-town guests flooding the community and lots of intoxicated people running around. For example, the University of Illinois’ “Unofficial” typically sees an increase of 300% in emergency calls during the event. But that campus has taken steps to reduce the unsafe behaviors during “Unofficial,” and the number of police citations decreased from 271 in 2014 to 138 in 2015. Hospitalizations have also been decreasing. Other campuses have taken action as well. The University of Massachusetts plans big name concerts to provide an alternative activity to Blarney Blowout for students, and asks fraternal organizations to sign a pledge to refrain from promoting dangerous behavior.
The following steps can help ensure the safety for both your chapter and yourself and can make your St. Patrick’s Day celebration safer and more enjoyable.
For Your Chapter
Limit out-of-town guests in your chapter house. Some colleges and universities prevent non-student guests in their residence halls. Chapters should consider doing the same. Visitors to your campus typically don’t feel the same accountability to a community that is not their own.
Abide by the limits set by the greek governing councils regarding chapter social activities during these celebrations. Your chapter’s activities reflect on the Greek community and Sigma Nu as a whole. Be a positive force.
Remind brothers that their individual actions will be closely monitored by the police and the university and may reflect on your chapter and Sigma Nu. In the age of Google and social media, any bad behavior by your members is immediately communicated and amplified. What kind of behavior will reflect the culture of your chapter? Here's a good refresher course: Real vs. Online
Make sure your members know how to care for someone who has had too much to drink
Ensure that your crisis management plan is followed if an incident occurs
Predetermine a safe way to get home . . . for you and your friends. Whether you’re watching a parade or going to or hosting a party, ensure everyone in your group has a safe means of returning home if you plan to drink. Select a designated driver, arrange for a cab, plot a bus route, or figure out a nearby place you can crash for the night. It’s a good idea to keep route maps of local public transportation, as well as the numbers for taxi companies handy during the day.
Eat. Drinking on an empty stomach is a good way to end your St. Paddy’s day a lot earlier than planned. Make sure to get some nutrients in you to help absorb that alcohol.
Stay hydrated. Getting enough water will also help keep the party going on longer, and decrease the likelihood you’ll have a March 18th hangover. It’s a Thursday, so you’ll probably (hopefully) have important things to do, like work.
If you feel impaired, don’t get behind the wheel. In the eyes of the law, impaired driving is drunk driving, and even if you feel fine, a breathalyzer might not concur. With all the checkpoints on the roads, it’s best to play it extra safe. If you have even the least bit of doubt, don’t drive.
Be extra cautious on the roads. Just because you’re a safe and sober driver doesn’t mean other people are. A disproportionate of traffic accidents on St. Patrick’s Day are caused by people driving under the influence. Whether you’re driving or just crossing the street on foot, keep your awareness levels high.
More safety tips can be found here: https://www.life360.com/blog/st-patricks-day-safety-tips/