Alcohol safety training should be mandatory



According to the NIAAA, about a quarter of college students report having consequences academically due to their drinking. This includes falling behind, doing poorly on exams and even missing classes.


The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) esti- mates that “about 1,519 college students ages 18 to 24 die from alcohol-relat- ed unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes each year.”

Alcohol consumption has been a part of the college experience from the dawn of time, but campuses can become hot spots for unsafe drinking habits. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 53 percent of full-time college students drank alcohol in the past month, and of those people, 33 percent reported binge drinking, and 8 percent reported heavy drinking.

This means that the pos- sibility of encountering an alcohol-related emergency during your time in college

is relatively high. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAHSA), “599,000 who are under the influence of alcohol are unintentionally injured, and 22,219 are hospitalized for an alcohol overdose each year.”

These statistics may seem irrelevant, but a large num- ber of college students have either taken care of someone having an alcohol-related emergency or have had one themselves. It’s also import- ant to note that these statis- tics don’t include the people who don’t go to the hospital for alcohol overdoses.

This is why I think it is incredibly important that all college students undergo an alcohol safety program. I’m not suggesting we add anoth- er training on Blackboard that most college students skip through and ignore I’m suggesting that we hold Red Watch Band Training for the campus.

Red Watch Band Training is a “comprehensive bystander intervention pro- gram designed to provide students with the knowl- edge, skills, and awareness to prevent death from toxic drinking.” At UNI, this pro- gram is held by the Student Wellness Center specifically for Fraternity and Sorority Life. But, I think it could be even more effective if held

for all students.

I know in my years at UNI, I’ve thought back to that training more than a couple of times, and it’s made me feel safer and more comfortable helping with the situation in front of me. Additionally, this train- ing helps people to know when the right time to call 911 is,and be able to do it quickly and swiftly without wasting time.

Alcohol safety is import-

ant for every single col- lege student, and I think it is extremely important knowing the statistics in tandem with my own expe- riences that all students should undergo some sort of alcohol safety training. To ensure they know the tools to step in when needed.