Some students appeared to be unconscious on campus yesterday, slumped on couches at bike roundabouts with plastic red cups in hand.
The scene was not the result of excessive partying, but a staged alcohol poisoning scene put on by student organizations Life of the Party and Just Call 9-1-1. Set up as a mock living room, the reenactment was held to discourage excessive drinking this Halloween weekend.
Throughout the event organizers distributed handouts with tips for party throwers and attendees, such as suggestions for how to handle incoherent friends and how to react if stopped by the Isla Vista Foot Patrol.
According to Just Call 9-1-1 co-founder Caitlyn Young, a second-year history major, the event shows the dangers of binge drinking.
“We’re trying to raise awareness to the symptoms of alcohol poisoning,” Young said. “We’re giving out tips on how to avoid it in general, as well as tips on moderation to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
Event organizer Lewis Durand, a second-year English major, said many students may not call ambulances when it is necessary for fear of cost. However, Durand said that concern is based on myth — and in fact, paramedics don’t charge to check on any person showing symptoms of alcohol poisoning.
“Personally, if I didn’t know that, I’d have that worry on my mind like, ‘Maybe this person is fine, and I’ll get this huge fine,’ but that’s not the case,” Durand said.
Aside from health-related issues, Alcohol & Drug Program Outreach Coordinator Michelle Kitson said excessive alcohol consumption can also have serious legal ramifications. Kitson said students need to familiarize themselves with local laws including the Social Host Ordinance, which makes party organizers legally accountable for the actions of their underage guests.
“The Social Host Ordinance essentially means that the host of a party is responsible if there is underage drinking,” Kitson said. “Students are concerned about how the ordinance is going to affect Isla Vista and we have frequently asked questions on our website that has information about that.”
The IVFP issued 35 citations and 17 arrests last weekend, which Young says is evidence of the need for increased alcohol education.
For additional information, visit LifeoftheParty.sa.ucsb.edu, Facebook.com/WeGauchoBack or Facebook.com/JustCall911.