Life is full of decisions.
Should you eat pizza or salad? Go out or stay home and study? Go to bed or start another season of that Netflix show?
We’ll admit that some decisions are easier than others. There might come a point in college where what seemed like the right choice at the time, is no longer the best choice. Remember with freedom, comes responsibility.
Before you roll your eyes and close the tab, hear us out. You might learn something.
We’re talking about those awkward topics like accidentally drinking way too much and the giant, uncomfortable elephant in the room — sex.
Drink, Drank, Drunk
Whether you’re new to campus or a graduating senior, these are a few things you should know before you take that shot:
OSU is a DRY campus, so if you choose to drink off campus, DO be SMART about it.
- Those of you under 21 DON’T get to “choose” the off-campus option. But there are plenty of things to do around Stillwater.
- HINT: If you choose to drink underage, you’re looking at Underage in Possession charges, among others. Misdemeanors at the very least, but very expensive.
- HINT HINT: There is such a thing as a Social Host Law. Meaning, if people under 21 are gathered and drinking on private property, the person who provides the location is considered the “social host” and will be held accountable.
DO know the signs of alcohol poisoning. We don’t need to tell you, but we will — it’s lethal.
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
- Individual is unresponsive
- Individual cannot stand unassisted
- Individual won’t wake up
- Individual’s breathing is slow
- Individual can have either flushed or pale blue/gray toned skin
- Individual may vomit while passed out
You should never leave someone who is suffering from any of these signs unattended. Also remember that an individual does not have to display any or all of these signs to be suffering from alcohol poisoning. They may appear to just be passed out. Friends don’t let friends die because they are afraid of getting into trouble. Cowboys are better than that! In fact, did you know that OSU has a “Good Samaritan” clause in the Student Code of Conduct? Check it out!
Additionally, the state of Oklahoma participates in the Medical Amnesty Initiative. This statewide law grants intoxicated minors a limited legal immunity when they seek help for themselves or another individual who is in need of immediate medical attention.
So, if you see someone who is suffering from these symptoms, DO call 911 immediately or connect with police on or off campus through Orange Shield. You can even send an anonymous iReport through the safety app.
In case you were wondering...even though medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, it’s still illegal under federal law which means it’s not allowed on our campus.
Why? OSU receives federal funds so it must comply with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act.
What does that mean? NO pot on campus or at any OSU sanctioned event or activity.
Let’s Talk About Sex
These points may seem obvious, but it’s better said than not. Here are a few things you need to remember about sex:
- DO ask for consent — every single time. Consent is required
- It doesn’t matter if it's a current, long-term or broken relationship, a causal connection or a marriage
- Once alcohol shows up, consent leaves the party
- HINT: Once alcohol is consumed, consent cannot be properly given, so DON’T assume otherwise
- Consent can only be given when the person:
- is informed
- freely and actively gives it
- is mutually understandable with words or actions
- indicates a willingness to participate in agreed sexual activity
- Consent can only be given when the person:
- The absence of “no” does NOT mean “yes”
- Any contact that occurs without consent is classified as sexual violence
- DO let someone know if you think an act of sexual violence has happened to you - It is not your fault
- Stillwater has resources available for victims of abuse such as Wings of Hope and Stillwater Medical Center
Yes, this can seem scary, or sounds like something that won’t ever happen to you, but it can happen. The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings and help others when in need.
Know the signs of assault or abuse:
- Individual is pushing aggressor away forcibly, subtly or jokingly but aggressor will not stop attempting to change the individual's mind
- Individual is holding his or her arms tightly around his or her body
- Individual is turning or hiding his or her face
If you see these things happening, please take action. It may feel like this is none of your business, but if it’s happening in your presence and you’re witnessing it — it’s your business. If the situation makes you uncomfortable, then it’s probably making the individual feel uncomfortable as well. Grab some friends and safely intervene to help out a fellow Cowboy.
Alcohol and sex all too often go hand in hand. Pay attention to the people you are with and know what to do in case something were to happen.
TIPS to be safe when you go out
- Go with friends
- Never take open drinks from a stranger
- Always have a sober friend in your group, especially if you plan on driving home
- By sober, we don’t mean the “least drunk.” This means selecting the most awesome bud that will take one for the team and NOT DRINK AT ALL for the evening to make certain everyone stays safe. The best part is that it doesn’t have to be the same person each time. Take turns. That’s what friends do.
Download Orange Shield to connect to your safety options, including emergency call button, Safe Walk, Bus Tracker, and reporting resources.
Here’s a few links to keep in your notes: