Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Alcohol warnings used to raise student awareness

File Photo, Augustana Observer.

With the weather slowly becoming warmer, the Augustana administration has become more concerned about the use of alcohol. This has led to numerous warnings, including emails and posters, being seen around campus. A new amnesty program has also been put into place. This is all centered around getting students more involved of the safety of their peers.
“When springtime comes, students are out and about more,” said Dr. Evelyn Campbell, Augustana’s Dean of Student Life. “My number one concern is the safety of our students, so I’m responding to the time of the year and what my experiences have shown me.”
Both Dean Campbell and staff at the Office of Residential Life say that there have been a few incidents in the past two weeks where students have had to go to the hospital due to alcohol, which is what caused the administration to try and act now and act quickly.
One of the main goals of these warnings is to get students aware and make sure they watch out for their friends.
“Our goal is for students to actually care about each other, to watch out for each other, to intervene when it comes to keeping themselves safe,” said Campbell.
While there have been numerous posters around campus in recent weeks telling student’s to look out for roommates, teammates, classmates, etc., administration says they don’t expect the posters to begin to fix the situation. They say they are instead used to begin to raise awareness.
“We’ve also been training staff to be on the lookout for signs of alcohol poisoning and sent an email warning parents,” said Chris Breyer, head of Residential Life.
There is also a new amnesty policy being put into place to try and encourage students to call Public Safety or 911 if signs of alcohol poisoning are seen.
“If a student acts in good faith to call for help for themselves or a friend, they would then be exempt from judicial fines for violating the alcohol policy,” said Breyer. “We’re doing this just in case that is a barrier for someone wanting to call for help.”
Both Campbell and Breyer gave the same signals for students to watch out for. The chief concerns would be people not being able to support themselves under their own weight and throwing up.
Joe Sagar, assistant head of Residential Life, also teaches the alcohol education class that students have to attend if they are caught violating the alcohol policy.
“One of the themes when you talk to young adults is almost like an invincibility, where they think ‘That would never happen to me,’” said Sagar. “A nineteen year old sophomore can’t always make the same judgement as a trained professional.”
Overall, the main goal of these warnings is to get students involved in the safety of their peers. Both Campbell and Breyer used the phrase “a culture of care” when referring to this idea. They think that if students take the initiative in making calls and taking the first steps when they see their friends in trouble, the negative effects of alcohol will be seen less on Augustana’s campus.
“Please please please, take care of yourselves, take care of your friends,” concluded Campbell. “Students need to stand up and take care of each other.”

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Alcohol warnings used to raise student awareness