The changing of the leaves means change is coming to college campuses. Big events like Homecoming and Halloween are right around the corner, which usually means a spike in social events and alcohol consumption. As members of Gamma Phi Beta, each woman is encouraged and expected to make their own decisions, so the choice of drinking is up to each individual once they are of legal age to do so. As a leader you can role model smart and safe drinking by following a few guidelines:  

Eat Square Meals – This is good advice for life in general, but it especially applies if you plan on drinking. Having food in your stomach slows the absorption of alcohol. Going out on an empty stomach is never a good idea, so don’t put yourself in that position and treat yourself to good food before you go have a good time.

Count Your Drinks – Knowing how many drinks you’ve had is a great way to keep yourself from drinking too much. Before you go out, check out a blood alcohol calculator online. By taking into account your height, weight, number of drinks you’ve had, and how long you’ve been drinking, you can get an idea of how many drinks you should be consuming. If you find you can’t remember how many you’ve had, it might be time to head home.  

Drink Water – Drinking plenty of water helps with lots of aspects of your health, and this is no exception. Drink water before you go out, between drinks, and after you get home. Alcohol dehydrates your body, which is a contributor to hangovers and blacking out. Do yourself a favor and drink lots of water; your body and mind will thank you.

Listen to Your Sisters – There are two reasons that a sister would ask you to go home with her. One is that she can see that you have had too much to drink and she is looking out for you. Two is she needs to go home, whether it be because she is uncomfortable or has had too much to drink herself. Either way, you should not ever let a sister walk home alone, so end the night on a good note and you’ll both be happier for it the next day.

Be an Active Bystander – If you notice that someone else has had too much to drink it is important that you take action. Call 911 immediately if someone is unresponsive, not breathing or has shallow breathing, skin is cold or clammy or is vomiting while passed out.

Make Your Own Decisions – Never let anyone pressure you into doing something that you don’t think you should be doing. People that pressure you into doing something you see as wrong are not the people you should be around anyway. Don’t be afraid to make a decision that you’re proud of, be your own leader, and you can’t go wrong.

For more information on safe drinking and Gamma Phi Beta’s Alcohol Policy please refer to the Collegiate Operations Manual. 

Maria Mosman (Idaho): Maria is a sophomore studying journalism with a minor in marketing at the University of Idaho. She is currently serving as the collegiate alumnae relations chair for Xi Chapter in Moscow, Idaho and loves drawing, reading and participating in intramurals. She is forever grateful for the opportunities, friendships and memories Gamma Phi has given her, and she looks forward to getting more involved in the organization as her time in Gamma Phi Beta continues.