October brings Halloween decorations, parties, and trick-or-treating: festivities that are enjoyed from childhood through adulthood! Halloween safety is important, especially in a new environment (like your college campus) where you can be surrounded by people you don't know well. Some tips for having a safe, fun Halloween include:
  • Use the buddy system: Stick with your friends the whole night, and never walk alone at night.
  • Have your phone fully charged and on you the entire night out: Make sure you have access to your phone, and load emergency numbers (such as friends, a cab company, and campus security) in your contact list before you head out.
  • Be extremely cautious when meeting new people: Costumes, especially ones that cover the face, create an added layer of anonymity when meeting new people. Be cautious when encountering unknown masked or heavily made-up revelers.
  • Never accept a beverage from someone you do not know: On Halloween (and all the time), watch your drink from the time it is poured until you finish it, and do not accept already-poured cups from people you have just met or do not know.
  • Consider your costume: Avoid wearing a costume that does not allow you to see and move freely. Stop and make sure motorists see you before you cross the street.
Halloween Safety Campaigns
The University of Virginia's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT) sponsors a Safe Halloween campaign every year. The campaign centers around a Halloween pledge:

I pledge to take care of my friends this Halloween by:
  • recognizing my role as a bystander and intervening where I can, but knowing my limits and getting help from others when necessary;   
  • knowing the PUBS signs of alcohol overdose;
  • keeping emergency numbers available and using them in an emergency situation;  
  • doing everything I can to make sure my friends get home safely

The week of Halloween, ADAPT and other campaign partners table in high-traffic areas handing out candy "reverse trick-or-treat" style, and students who sign the safety pledge receive free giveaways. ADAPT also offers Halloween safety tips on their website. This campaign can be easily modified to fit your campus and community, so everyone can enjoy a safe Halloween! 

Gordie Center Ideas and Updates
NHPW & National GORDIEday Recap
High schools, colleges, and universities around the country participated in National Hazing Prevention Week September 19 - 23, which included National GORDIEday on September 22nd. Missouri State University (students pictured above) participated in NHPW by showing the Gordie Center film HAZE to their Greek community, followed by a productive discussion about hazing, alcohol overdose, and how to help a friend in trouble. The University of Virginia and many other campuses held a "These Hands Don't Haze" banner signing campaign for NHPW--search #thesehandsdonthaze and #remembergordie to see social media posts of campaigns nationwide! 
Addressing Student-Athlete Hazing
Student-athletes are not immune to hazing, and hazing myths - bonding activities will bring the team closer together, new teammates need to earn their spot and prove themselves worthy of the jersey, activities are all in good fun and people can always choose not to participate - are prevalent. The reality is that hazing is associated with lower team cohesion and can put personal, academic, and athletic goals out of reach. The NCAA offers a number of excellent programs to support you in addressing hazing on your campus, including the guide Building New Traditions: Hazing Prevention in College Athletics and the recent article, Addressing Student-Athlete Hazing, written by the Gordie Center's APPLE staff.
The 2016 Gordie Center annual newsletter has been posted on our website--we hope you enjoy reading about our efforts over the past year and learning more about our products. Print copies should be arriving in mailboxes over the next few weeks--if you do not receive one and would like a print copied delivered to you, please contact us.

Until next month,

Susie Bruce,  Director, Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Jill Maurer, National Development & Program Coordinator 
Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
gordiecenter@virginia.edu | www.gordie.org

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter