Stay safe this homecoming

Are you ready for Homecoming 2020.5? While homecoming is an exciting time, it’s important to make sure you are safe during the celebrations. Consider making a homecoming safety checklist to ensure you are able to have a fun and safe time throughout the week!

Homecoming goes beyond the game. If you choose not to include drinking in your plans, you are not alone! In fact, one in three UNI students choose not to drink alcohol, according to the 2020 UNI National College Health Assessment. Show your Panther pride by attending this year’s homecoming festivities! If you do choose to include alcohol in your celebration, make a personal safety checklist before you drink.

If you plan to drink, maintain your buzz and avoid regrets/poor decisions by staying in your “sweet spot” (BAC of .05 or less). Follow these sweet spot tips.

Set a limit on how many standard drinks you will have and keep track. BAC calculators like the one found at are great options to estimate where your BAC is so you can plan effectively.

Pace drinks to one or less per hour.

Choose drinks that contain less alcohol by volume.

Eat a substantial meal before you go out and snack throughout the day/night.

Make a plan outlining your personal limits! Think about how much alcohol you want to consume if you choose to drink, how you will get a safe ride and how to obtain protection if you choose to engage in sex.

Never leave your drink unattended. If you lose sight of it, get a new one!

Keep in mind Iowa alcohol laws (alcohol only for 21+) and UNI policies:

Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs (legal or illegal).

Mixing alcohol and drugs could lead to dangerous reactions and increases your risk of alcohol overdose. In addition, alcohol can make a medication less effective or even useless, or it may make the medication toxic to your body.

If you are taking a prescription medication, such as anti-anxiety or anti-depression drugs, alcohol may affect you differently than it has in the past. If you are planning to consume alcohol, make sure you first speak with your doctor to best understand how alcohol and your medication will interact.

It’s difficult to know exactly how cannabis will affect you every time you use it. When mixed with alcohol, it may cause nausea, vomiting, panic, anxiety, paranoia or other psychotic symptoms, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

If you see any of the following signs of alcohol overdose, call 911 for help and put the person on their side in the recovery position as you wait for the ambulance:

Cold, clammy skin / pale or bluish skin

Unconscious / semi-conscious

Prolonged vomiting / very rapid or very slow pulse

Slow, shallow or irregular breathing / seizures

Panthers take care of one another. We encourage students to seek medical or professional help for someone who needs it. In turn, students who seek medical assistance for themselves or another person, due to intoxication of alcohol and/or other drugs may not be held accountable through the student conduct process.

The student(s) may be required to complete an educational sanction, but not further conduct action. Questions about the Good Samaritan Provision? Visit the Dean of Students Staff in Gilchrist 118 or call 319-273-2332.

Complete the Alcohol eCHECKUP TO GO online program to see where you stand and receive personalized feedback about your alcohol use.

Be extra intentional about who you surround yourself with in social settings. Consider these ideas as you select friends to spend your time with at UNI.

Keep an eye on your friends and agree to watch out for each other. Go out with a group of people you trust and leave with the group you came with!

Create a code word between you and your friends so that you can alert each other if anything feels off. 

Be an active bystander and intervene if you notice someone who may be in a risky situation.

When using Uber or Lyft, download the app before you go out, make sure to ride with a group you trust, never ride alone and do not share the ride service with people you do not know. Make sure you have your clean mask ready to wear in the vehicle!

Phones can be your helpful sidekick in social settings if you use them wisely! Use these tips to ensure you’re using your phone most effectively and safely.

Always bring your phone fully-charged when you go out. Make sure someone you trust knows your plans so they can check in with you often.

Think twice about posting your location! Sharing too much information can put your safety at risk!

Update your phone contacts!

Start a group chat to easily tell others where you’re going so they’ll know where you are at all times.

Keep these COVID-19 considerations, adapted from the CDC, in mind:

Wear a well-fitting mask that fits completely over the nose and mouth.

Avoid large gatherings and events, when possible. 

Be aware that indoor events are riskier than outdoor events.

Practice physical distancing (at least 6 feet away) at events to reduce transmission risk.

Avoid playing drinking games, sharing bottles/cups and sharing cannabis and tobacco products (i.e. vapes).

Wash your hands often for at least 20 sec and have hand sanitizer on hand when out and about.

If hosting a get-together, limit it to only a few close friends and ask friends to not post on social media to avoid unwanted guests; join your friends outside; remind friends to bring and wear face masks; encourage physical distancing and ask friends to stay home if they have symptoms, even if they’re minor.

Remember, you don’t need to go beyond your limits to celebrate homecoming. Follow your gut, have fun and stay safe this homecoming! What will you add to your personal safety checklist?