In the fall of 2016, Trinity University formed a student-led committee to rewrite the alcohol policy for off-campus events that would prioritize student safety. This policy, the Safer Party Initiative, or SPIN, is a list of recommendations that help foster student safety, well-being and responsibility at off-campus events involving alcohol.
“SPIN was our attempt to pull in students and really see what was working and what wasn’t at off-campus events and parties,” said Jeremy Allen, an assistant director of Student Involvement. “We went in and asked them, “˜if we were building an alcohol policy from the ground up, what isn’t working and what new ideas do you have for a more effective risk management strategy’ and then we built this policy from the student’s feedback.”
This student group was comprised of Greek Council representatives, other members of Greek organizations that weren’t members of Greek Council and student athletes in order to create a policy that was applicable to all students. These students met over the course of the semester and discussed the most prevalent issues associated with drinking on campuses and how to minimize the associated dangers.
As identified by students, the four issues that students who reside in off-campus residences should focus on are: overconsumption of alcohol, which results in hospitalization or oversight at the San Antonio Sobering Unit, drinking and driving, unwelcome behavior and disturbances that affect neighbors.
“I know that Trinity just implemented the SPIN policy last semester, so, to be honest, I have not seen a change in the drinking culture thus far,” said Stacey Debner, risk management chair of Alpha Chi Lambda sorority. “However, I really appreciate that the policy is by students, for students and while I don’t know how it’s going to play out, I think that the administration looking to students to create these policies is definitely a step in the right direction.”
The previous policy was believed to be outdated and unrealistic for current students. It emphasized drink tickets for exclusively students over 21, while the new policy instead chooses to emphasize safety.
Larry Cox, community awareness resource officer of the Trinity University Police Department, provided a few tips on drinking responsibly off-campus.
“Especially if you’re off-campus, always go with a friend. It’s so important to look out for each other and be consciously aware of how much you’re drinking and who you’re drinking with,” Cox said.
Some students have also come up with tips that have worked for them.
“Always make sure you’re getting enough hydration because even though you’re drinking a lot of liquid, you’re extremely dehydrated,” Debner said.