Due to a number of high-profile incidents involving high-risk alcohol consumption here at Miami, University leadership is breaking from tradition this year when it comes to Green Beer Day.
While students plan to celebrate on Thursday, March 15, Miami administration, faculty, staff and student organizations are taking an increased number of preventative steps to avoid the pitfalls that can befall students on such an alcohol-fueled day.
Students were handed green koozies and phone cases with the message, “Life is Priceless, You Make the Call,” along with contact numbers for MUPD, OPD and McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital printed on either side as they walked into the standing-room-only Wilks Theater on Monday at 7 p.m. for the Green Beer Day forum.
“If there is one message that people could come away with, it’s that life is priceless,” said Zach Roebel, Residence Hall Association president. “Here’s some resources to do it, and give them something physically that they could touch and take with them.”
Maggie Reilly, ASG student body president, concurred.
“We wanted to create a campaign that would be something meaningful and something we could all remember,” said Reilly. “At the end of the day, your life, your friend’s life, is priceless.”
Billy Fitz, ASG secretary of off-campus affairs, opened the forum, saying “I have been fortunate enough to have lived through four Green Beer Days, and if you ever see me on a Green Beer Day, you know I’m having tons of fun… responsibly… which is key.”
Another forum was held simultaneously in Shideler Hall, titled, “It’s fun until…” which discussed the dangers of substance abuse and binge drinking found on many college campuses.
These forums are just two of the many events that are centered around preparing students for the festivities associated with Green Beer Day.
Last week, a forum, “Just Call,” was held regarding the Good Samaritan policy on campus. Additionally, a Good Samaritan and Alcohol training workshop was held to prepare local taxi drivers and others interested in the training for the signs of alcohol poisoning and the steps to take once it has been identified.
But the University has expanded safety measures to off campus to make the Green Beer Day tradition more safe. Miami enlisted the help of the surrounding community and law enforcement in the area.
For instance, alcohol permit-holding establishments Uptown have agreed to open later than usual and have restricted access for those 21 and older in the earlier hours of the day, according to a brief prepared by Claire Wagner, university communications director.
The brief includes that OPD and MUPD have begun joint patrols that will continue throughout the Green Beer Day celebrations while MUPD, as well as ASG, will be handing out water bottles during the day on Thursday. Additionally, various alternative activities have been arranged by the Office of Residence Life, BACCHUS, MAP and Oxford’s Religious Communities Association for students who are unwilling or underage to participate in Green Beer Day.
“I cannot thank enough the many individuals on and off campus who have worked collaboratively to reduce Green Beer Day risk; we’re very grateful,” University President Greg Crawford said.
With preventative measures in place, the University hopes to continue the tradition of Green Beer Day without the recent trend of high-profile alcohol related incidents.