Being smart at parties is easier than you think

I’m not going to play Mother Mary and tell you not to go to a party.

Most of you reading this article are going to hit up a handful of college parties in your years at UAA. People go to parties for a number of reasons. It’s an easy way to meet new people, it’s a way for some to get lucky and it’s always nice to relax for a couple hours and unwind.

I’ve been to an assortment of different parties; small get-togethers, frat parties, ragers, and ones where the cops have to intervene. Regardless, if you go to have a good time or go to get laid, keep a couple of these thoughts in mind to stay safe.

1. Make sure consent is involved.

This sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, people can be animalistic. Alcohol impairs people’s judgement and can reduce the ability to make clear, concise decisions. It is easier to hunt something when it is injured, just like it is easier to take advantage of an individual when their vision is cloudy.

Talking to your partner is the best decision you can do. A simple “is this okay?” can give you a definite answer. No means no. No does not mean take a break for a few minutes. No does not mean keep going.

Just remember that sexual assault can happen with both sexes. Rape can happen to anyone, regardless of gender. If you see anyone at a party being taken advantage of, you have the power to intervene.

2. Protection is key.

Putting a condom on is easy.

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If you have birth control, you are reducing your chances of getting pregnant. However, without a condom you still are at risk for getting STD’s. Condoms do not cancel your chances completely of transferring a disease but they are greatly diminished.

People can easily lie about saying if their status is clean. If you’re hooking up with someone, don’t take the chance and catch something. Be smart. Free protection can be found all over UAA’ campus so there is no excuse as to why safe sex isn’t an option for you. Stop by Student Health and Counseling Center in Rasmuson Hall for more information about safe sex and free condoms.

3. Don’t drink and drive.

I know, I know. This seems like a given. Granted, I have had to take intoxicated people out of their cars because they were confident they could drive home.

The drinking age is still 21. If you are underage, consume any alcohol and drive, you can get a DUI. Have a ride planned ahead of time or crash at a friend’s house so you never have to risk getting your license taken away, or your life for that matter.

Call a cab, call a friend, call your parents, crash on a couch, or don’t drink at all. There are plenty of options to choose that don’t include harming yourself and others around you.

There are plenty of ways to have a good time at a party, but it’s always better when nobody is hurt and everyone is safe. Be smart out there, freshman, and welcome to UAA!