Sober Monitor Workshops Offer a New Way to Keep Social Life Safe at SNC

SARAH KICK, NEWS CORRESPONDENT

As past semesters finished out with advisement eves and many social events, Bailey Bushman ’17 saw issues of student safety when it came to events such as mixers, dances and sorority weekend. She decided to take action and went to Cristi Burrill, Assistant Director of Leadership Development and overseer of Greek life and independent social groups. Together, they decided to pursue the idea of offering “sober monitor”workshops.

Bushman and Burrill joined together with Tom Doughman, Assistant Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, to partner with the LSE Office and the Prevention and Wellness Education Office in order to make this idea a success.

“The goal of the workshops was to teach Greek/Independent groups the best practices on how to be an effective sober monitor and prevent conflict when serving as a sober monitor. Additionally, we wanted to ensure that students had both a resource toolkit to be able to respond to situations,”said Bushman.

Four different sober monitor workshops were offered Nov. 10-12. The sober monitor workshops gave students a review on the basics of alcohol and alcohol consumption, as well as how to effectively take care of students who are under the influence. Bushman and Burrill went over what the campus has to offer in regards to helping students who have had too much to drink.

“Safety is our number one priority, so we (Delta Phi Epsilon sorority) put a lot of attention on making sure our sober monitors have knowledge of how to keep people safe,”said Molly Uphoff ’17, a member of Delta Phi Epsilon.

Towards the end of the workshop, students were allowed to speak with other groups about their sober monitor process. As they spoke with other groups, they were given a hypothetical situation in which to discuss the ways to handle the situation. The situations were then shared with the large group, and others could share their input.

“Now that students have the effective conflict resolution strategies and resources, we hope that individuals feel that they can handle any situation that is thrown their way,” said Bushman. “Hopefully, there will be a more positive connotation to being a sober monitor!”

Many Greek life and social group members attended the sober monitor workshops, but, for those who could not attend, Bushman offered some advice: “Reach out to your sisters and brothers to gather information and encourage your Greek/Independent organization to review and potentially revise its sober monitor guidelines. Being a sober monitor can be fun when an individual is prepared and has the tools for success!”

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