image of the iconic red drinking cup spilling alcohol.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

I know what you’re thinking, “Big sis? She better have something good to say.” And, while I might outright disappoint you with my opinions that always find themselves contrary to popular opinion, I want to focus this column solely on experience.

Student to student, person to person, rainy day to rainy day; we all go through the same things. So, I guess consider me the big sis you can’t borrow clothes from, the one who cried her eyes out because her prom sucked and so she took the opportunity to give you “Good Luck, Charlie” advice on the couch afterwards because it is her moral duty. 

Yeah, something like that. I’m not a guru, expert or scientist, I consider myself real, and this week’s topic is pretty damn real: cover your drink at parties.

It’s back-to-school time, which is also code for back to every kind of back-to-school party one could imagine. My lovely time here in college is all-too familiar with every cliché that college parties must bring. Among the varieties of clichés is the most common one: drunk people who tend to act more like animals than people. 

Lack of morals is what I’m more directly referring to; or, people who take advantage of others while they’re in an incapacitated state by slipping something in their drink.

It wasn’t until I’d witnessed this during my sophomore year of college that I thought, “wow, this is a real problem.” One weekend, I went to a house party with a group of friends. The party was jumping and, like all great things do, came to an end. As my friends and I made our way out, a girl slumped over the arms of two guys caught my eye. Before my brain could tell my feet to move, I approached the sketchy situation that was oddly apparent. 

No, I didn’t heroically accuse the two men of being sketchy and take the girl away onto my white horse to ride into the sunset or anything, all it took was one look. A single look in both men’s eyes told me everything that I needed to know, so what did I do? I acted like the girl was my best friend in the entire world with a fake name that they didn’t even know was hers. 

After returning her safely to her friends, I never spoke to or saw her again. I didn’t even get her real name.  But something happened that night, after finding out she’d accepted a “special” drink from the men, something changed in me. I’d wondered about the other people who didn’t have as lucky of an outcome. And the horrifying truth is, you may be sitting next to someone in class who wasn’t as lucky. 

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest Network, more than 50 percent of college sexual assaults occur in August, September, October and November. Students are also at an increased risk during their first and second semesters in college.

Don’t take your eyes off your drink, not even for a second. Cover your drink with your hand when you aren’t looking. Be aware of your surroundings and intervene in any sketchy situation you might see. Because that person who could be taken advantage of, raped, hurt and stripped of their autonomy is somebody’s brother, sister, cousin, friend or lover; that person is somebody’s everything, we all are.

I don’t know much, but I’ve seen a little so please,

Cover your drinks.

Xoxo,

Big Sis 

For more information on campus sexual violence visit www.rainn.org.

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