Wellness at Berkeley Module 7: Alcohol Awareness
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Wellness at Berkeley Module 7: Alcohol Awareness

(soft music) – An important aspect of being a community member at Cal, involves the choices
we make around alcohol. My name is Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton. I’m a psychology professor
here at UC Berkeley, and I’m joined by my cohost, Dree Kovossi, fourth-year undergraduate student and ASUC Senator. Today, we’re gonna talk
about alcohol awareness. And joining me, are three guests. David Presti, Department
of Molecular Cell Biology and Program in Cognitive
Science at UC Berkeley. Karen Hughes, Project
Director of [email protected] of the University Health
Services Tang Center. And Andrew Goldblatt, Risk Manager in the Office of the
Chancellor at UC Berkeley. To each of you, thank you and welcome. Let’s get started. – To start, David, I know
you teach a lot of classes on drugs and the effect
they have on the body. Could you briefly
overview what the effects of alcohol on the body are? – Yes, I teach a class called Drugs in the Brain that is taken by about 600 students every year. If there’s one central theme
in that class, it’s that all of these things that
we call drugs are poison. They’re poison, they may
also have medicinal effects and that may depend on the
amount or context of use. They are best respected
for their poisonous capacities, so with respect to alcohol, it has a sedative or slowing-down effect on the nervous system and the body. It, very rapidly, crosses
a threshold into something that renders as pretty non-functional, and with a little bit more,
it can actually cause death, which it occasionally does. Those are short-term effects. The long-term effects are known to be toxic in many ways to many body organs including the nervous system and liver. Those studies involve many years of use but there’s reason to believe
that even moderate use in large quantities could also precipitate some of those same kinds of bodily damage. – [Dree] So it has a large impact, long-term and not just short-term. Down the road, long-term
alcohol use can lead to– – Yes. In terms of actual damaging
effects on body parts, most of that involve long-term use. In the short-term, the problematic effects are gonna be more on behavior, of which there are manifold things that I’m sure will come
up in this discussion. – Karen, what kind of
behaviors or outcomes actually do you think alcohol promotes? – First, let me say that students love Professor Presti’s class. I wish I knew everything
that you know about, so thank you. It’s interesting to come after you because I think some of
the other aspects of it that are pretty important
about alcohol use in the college population are one, we don’t wanna overestimate how much or how often students use. That social norms misperception about how many students use,
is really exaggerated. Incoming students, actually, almost 70% of our incoming students
don’t use alcohol. When you look at the full
campus, all students, it gets up to about 70% to 80%, are using. It does mean that over the
course of their time here, most of us, many of
them are facing choices, and we’re hoping that they realize that those choices, the drinking settings, and the whole overall culture is a really important aspect of wellness, all the different dimensions, because there are consequences of use, positive and sometimes negative, that can be academic, social, emotional, physical, spiritual to use. So much of it has to do
with quantity consumed at any given time, and the environment in which it’s happening. Is it a safe environment or is it also a high-risk environment? – Karen, can I follow up
with you really quickly. You say it’s important not
to overestimate the use. Why is it important not
to overestimate the use for the incoming
undergraduate at Berkeley? – It’s funny. Every year, I ask a
large group of students, “If there’s one piece of
advice that you could’ve heard “when you arrived here,
about drinking and parties, “what do you wish someone
had actually told you?” and that’s exactly what it was, “I wish someone had told me “that not everybody drinks.” They’re so surprised as people to find that they’re actually in the majority. They perceive that they
are teeny-tiny minority, and the impact of that is that college students, not exclusively, but at a high rate, are very
interested in fitting in to what they think is the cultural norm. So when they have inaccurate information about what the actual norm is, they’re making choices to try to fit in, and what they’re trying to
fit into isn’t actually real. – [Rodolfo] So it’s pluralistic ignorance, in other words, the process whereby, I think you want to drink and
you think I want to drink, but in reality, neither
of us wants to drink, but we both end up drinking. – And that misperception
extends to misperception of negative consequences, in fact, we tend to really overestimate how much negative consequences happen, for example, I think two out of 10 Cal undergraduates experience injury to self
related to their drinking. That means eight out of 10 who drink don’t experience injury,
but when you ask students, “What percent of Cal students do you think “hurt themselves as a
result of their drinking?” they will say, “70%?” and you say, “No, the actual answer is
20%,” they’re like, “What?” You say, “What do you
think that gap is about?” They just assume that college drinking means excessive drinking,
and excessive drinking means stupid drinking,
and you get injured. The point of that, is that
because of the misperception people fail to notice problems. They see a problem and they perceive it as normal–
– [Dree] The norm. – to drinking, when it’s not, and back to pluralistic ignorance, we don’t step forward and
be the first one to say, “Can I check in with you about that?” – [Rodolfo] So this person
is totally out of control or really becoming sick,
and I perceive that as, “That’s just the way
things are, and that’s just “the way college is,”
when in fact, it’s not and something to be quite alarmed about. – Yeah. – Andrew, is there a
safe way to drink alcohol or safe amounts to drink alcohol? – That really depends
very much on the person because people are different sizes and the type of alcohol
that they’re drinking, there are a number of different
factors that influence whether or not there’s actually
a safe limit of alcohol. The general, and again,
this is very general and nobody should take
this as (laughs) gospel, is that if you hold yourself
to one drink per hour, you’re probably gonna
stay below the threshold where you do yourself immediate damage. By one drink, we also mean some very specific things. We mean, for instance, one 12-ounce beer or one shot of hard alcohol, that’s just a tiny amount of hard alcohol, I think about two or three ounces of wine. There are some very specific standards of what we mean by one
drink within an hour. Generally, if you stay within that, again, it’s not necessarily safe but it’s much safer
than if you binge drink, and I think that’s the
biggest problem that we face, especially with students
who are not experienced drinkers, often they
will take a shot and say, “I don’t feel anything,” so
they’ll take another shot, and they still don’t feel anything, and so they take another
shot, and half an hour later, after six shots, they’re in big trouble because it’s a cumulative
effect and it hits fairly quickly once it does hit. I think, probably David, you can speak more specifically to the biology of that but in general, I think that’s what we’ve seen with a lot of the students who’ve gotten in trouble, is because they don’t feel anything, they keep going. – [Dree] I know at parties, a big thing is pouring shots into Dixie
cups or red solo cups. What is that measurement
in terms of the 12 ounces that you’re talking about? – [Andrew] Again, it’s
totally imprecise and it depends on who you’re
getting the drink from. There are some brews that
could be pretty toxic, where people have put some
very high-proof alcohol into those little Dixie cups, and there are others where there’s less. Unless you really know
what’s in that Dixie cup, you probably shouldn’t drink from it. – We know that there are
ways to drink safely. Most people who consume alcohol consume it in a safe way that doesn’t
get them into trouble. I think that’s a way of
respecting the substance, to understand one’s
relationship with the alcohol and respectfully relate to it, so that one doesn’t overdo it. – Could I follow up
really quickly on that? You just said we know that there are ways to drink safely. How can the ones who don’t know share in that information of knowing
how to drink safely? – That’s a good test for
the educational process because I think we’re
not trying to say here, “Don’t drink, ever,” even though that’s a perfectly healthy behavior to adopt, and that’s great if someone wants to adopt that. Most people choose not
to, most people choose to engage with alcohol to varying degrees and are able to do it safely in the range where it’s a social
lubricant and so forth, so to have that part of
the educational process that there are ways to do this safely, and as you just said, one drink per hour is a good rule to live by because that’s a pretty safe level. – I can maybe pitch in. [email protected] is right up our alley. The point is, first of all, a key thing is to know the expectations and understand the community, your personal constraints,
your family’s expectations, your living center rules,
know what the rules are because, in addition to
negative consequences being biological and personal, there can be social and campus sanctions. Actually when students
experience that early in their college life,
a violation of any sort, their likelihood of experiencing attrition or dropping out goes up a lot. You really wanna avoid that. So knowing what the expectations are and holding yourself accountable. But secondly, just following some basic risk management practices personally. Andy mentioned, pace your
drinks to one per hour. Set a limit for yourself
and count your drinks, and know what a drink actually is. Make a plan and tell a friend. One of my students, interns, she goes out with large groups of people
and before they go out, they meet and they buddy up. They share with their buddy,
their plans for that night, how much they plan to drink,
what they plan to drink, when they wanna be home by, what their hookup intentions might be, and they keep each other accountable and help each other stick to their plan. – I know that we have
a number of questions but I have to ask this question. What happens if your buddies, and you say, “Let’s buddy up here,”
and your buddy’s plan is to drink themselves under the table? – I think that’s a great example of monitoring and intervening in a timely and effective manner, when something is unwell or potentially going off-track. It doesn’t mean, even
while they’re drinking, but when you hear a plan in creation, that is not a safe plan. We have resources that you can, you learn how to talk to somebody about what you just heard, “So I heard you just
say that you’re thinking “of really drinking a
lot, it sounds a little, “I feel concerned about what I heard. “Can I ask you more about it? “Can we have a conversation?” Then and there, is a small intervention and it’s not heroic and it’s basically, theoretically, what friends do. We don’t wanna wait to
be an active bystander just when someone is passed out and we’re deciding whether
to call 911 or not. There are so many opportunities before anybody reaches that severity, to have intervened in little ways, to prevent little problems
from becoming big ones. – We’ve covered, already,
a lot of ground here, including some of the
biological and health effects of alcohol as a substance on the body. We mentioned Professor Presti’s class. We talked about the important concept of pluralistic ignorance,
and the important concept of being able to measure and know how much you drink and the planfulness. We also talked about [email protected], a resource which we will
get to a little bit later. Let’s move on to the
role, we’ve already talked about this, to the role of attitudes. – I think in college, a
lot of times, students, they’ve studied all week,
they’re gonna go let loose on the weekend and go to
a party and drink alcohol. Why is that the norm? What makes that something
that they need to do? – My generation is probably
responsible for that. There was a movie about 30 years ago called Animal House,
starring John Belushi. If you haven’t seen it, see it, just don’t follow what they do. But that movie, I think,
really reset the allure of the drinking life in college. It really did create a whole
impression of what it’s like to go to college and to
be social at college. I think, ever since then,
we’ve seen an awful lot of living down to that particular stereotype, if you will, and I think that the
impression of a lot of students is that that’s what college is about. You work hard and you play hard, and you play really hard,
which means going as far over the line as you can possibly go. This is Berkeley, we’re
a little bit different. At Berkeley, I think we look at things a little bit more critically. I think that, after 30 years,
it probably is time for us to reconsider what it’s like to be social when we’re not working hard. – Does alcohol actually let off steam like students believe? Does it really make you feel better after you’ve been
studying so hard all week? – [Karen] I think that’s a good question. Everybody needs to check
their expectancies, whether your alcohol
expectancies are shaped by watching Animal House,
or they’ve been shaped by the $6,000,000,000 a year that the alcohol industry
spends marketing, to people from the age of six onwards to shape their perception of what college, drinking, and letting
off steam looks like. What other industry is marketing ideas for letting off steam at
that level to educate us? The industry is the de
facto alcohol educator in our country, and people arrive here and we have an opportunity to try to provide some more information. But one of the things
about, “Does it, really?” Sure, in some ways, but maybe not as much as people expect. Alcohol expectancies,
the power of the brain over what actually happens biologically, has been pretty well-studied
in placebo studies where people who are given
non-alcoholic beverages in nightclub-like settings act intoxicated, they physically are flushed and they act intoxicated. People who are given
drinks with no alcohol told that there’s alcohol in
them, they act intoxicated. So, of course, there’s biology. But there’s an element
of how the brain works in this and how our expectancies
are really important. I think, when people first come here, it’s a good, important time to reflect on what your expectations
are for yourself, where they came from, whether it’s family history or otherwise, and get educated, take
advantage of the tools and resources that are here, to be smart and take
steps that make sense. – A part of what’s going on here is a cultural shift,
which is always happening, I suppose, around wellness. Certainly, it may be the case that alcohol does have short-term relaxing effects. That’s why people do it. Even in those cases,
if people drink beyond a certain amount and you talk with them more intimately the next day or something, they usually don’t feel
they had the same lasting benefit as they may have thought it had. The idea of creating more of a culture where there are more options
for letting off steam, taking care of oneself, feeling good, and being able to recover
from the hard work, this is great, it’s a great
opportunity to be doing this. – [Rodolfo] So in other words, it’s the case that people
misperceive the benefits while they are engaged
in drinking behavior, and the next day, that
closeness you may have felt to someone, that rapport
with a best buddy, is no longer there. – Yes, and even the coolness. At least, in my experience
of talking with people who thought it might
be cool to get wasted, later, they don’t have
that same impression. But it’s easy to forget
that the next time around. So to create a culture
where there’s more awareness of those things continuously, is the idea. – Also, linked back to wellness and work hard all week only
to let off steam hard, that is not a sustainable model. It’s so great, when you meet someone and they’re like, “I
figured that out for myself, “I figured out that it
really works better for me “to do a little of that
letting-off-steam.” Not necessarily drinking other things, a little bit every day, as opposed to putting it all aside and I’m gonna make up for that on the weekend. – In the sleep module, we
talk about the importance of sleep, and talking about
an unsustainable model, play hard, work hard,
and if you play too hard then you wake up late,
and you have to work even harder, that cycle
needs to be interrupted. – Just wanna say, also, the play-hard, why do we assume that means
partying and drinking? Part of it is, let’s
just check our language, and if we mean work hard,
drink hard, let’s say it, double-check our language on perpetuating–
– The equating. Exactly, the equating of
playing with drinking. – I think the big problem, too, Cal, we’re a research institution and students like to experiment and what a better time to
experiment than college? What would you tell a student who says, “I’m not gonna be a habitual drinker “but if I get wasted,” as you said, David, “once in college, is that really that bad “if I get wasted a few times?” What do you all have to
think about that mindset? – I would say it all depends on how badly wasted you get and what the circumstances are when you get wasted. I think that if you don’t know your limits and this is the first
time that you’re doing it, your judgement might be
impaired in all the ways that David talked about
earlier, the physiological and biological changes that
you start to experience. At that point, you may
start making some very bad decisions, and those
decisions could be very personally damaging to you. And it could even potentially be fatal. I know we have a lot of
examples of that here at Cal unfortunately, I don’t wanna get into any very personal, sad stories here. Think about this, think
about how all the people who have invested their
hopes in you as a student, are going to feel, when they find out that everything that they invested in you, in terms of the life
you’ve lived to this point and the future that they wanted for you, is destroyed because of one
night of binge drinking. Is it really worth all of that because the potential is there. – Andy, there’s an important
point that you’ve made about the personal
consequences but your behavior also affects your community
and your social circles. – I wanted to take the opportunity because risk increases as I drink more. So that’s my personal risk. But the kind of one night out, the fact is, on our campus only about, I don’t know, 10% to 14% of our students binge drink pretty regularly. We have a lot of students who don’t drink very much very often, but they might have their one night. And there’s a lot of them. So all of them having their one night at the same time, takes
a tremendous impact, not only on them personally,
but on our community. For example, it was earlier this year, because there was a lot of them doing that on a certain night,
there were no ambulances in the city of Berkeley for Berkeley residents who needed help. There were no beds available
in our local hospital because they were all taken up by students from our campus who had been having their one night, so yeah, it is a big deal and in number of ways. Does it mean it’s not gonna happen? No, we’d like for it to happen less and we know that there’s
ways to reduce it. Of course, people are gonna experiment and that’s normal, but taking responsibility
for that the same way that they would take some responsibility and not go out driving a
car for the first time ever, without having prepared
themselves in some way, and understanding what that entails. So there’s a way which we
have to really help them embrace that, enjoy, take it slow, and make choices to grow along the way. – Do you think mixing different drugs, having beer before liquor
and liquor before beer, those sorts of outages, do
you think that really makes a difference in the amount
of drunkness, David? – [David] As far as I
know, it’s pretty much proportional to the amount
of alcohol you intake. If you mix in hard liquor with beer, distilled liquors with
beer, you’re gonna be consuming a lot more alcohol. Certainly, when you talk
about mixing alcohol with other kinds of drugs, there are synergistic
intoxicating effects. Alcohol plus marijuana, for most people, ends up being much more intoxicating than you would expect for
just some of those two. In general, that’s the
case of mixing alcohol with other intoxicants,
alcohol plus certain pharmaceutical pills,
like alcohol plus a valium or a klonopin, or something like that, can produce a massively increased intoxicating effect
and amnesia, blackouts, loss of memory, beyond
what would be expected from the effects of the individual drugs. – Which surely has an
effect on physiology– – Sure.
– long-term. We’ve covered, again, a lot of ground here but I think one of the
things that’s salient to me, is that some of these
attitudes that we perceive as normal, can really be traced back to cultural events, movies, and the like that then become an unspoken norm that people find very hard to break, yet to their own very detriment. It has personal effects,
and I’d like to keep going and talk a little bit about the effects on the broader community
and the environmental facilitators of alcohol use. But let’s hold off on that
conversation just a little bit to talk about the medical care. – Yeah, let’s say you go out drinking and a friend of yours
is totally beyond help, can’t stand on their own, maybe vomiting. When do you know to seek medical advice? When do you call 911? – [Rodolfo] I think,
even more importantly, before they are clearly in need of 911, when do you intervene? – Cut them off. – The PartySafe interns this year, a couple of them are licensed bartenders, and so they are bringing information to BEAR about party safety, monitoring and intervening
regarding intoxication. We’re outlining four phases. Someone is either, “Ok, let them be,” someone is at the point of slurring, that’s a point where you
wanna slow them down, and there’s techniques for doing that. The third phase is they’re
at cut-’em-off stage, no more, and they don’t
talk their way out of that. The fourth stage is get ’em home safe. And actually the sixth stage
is call for medical help. For each of those, it’s
important to recognize the warning signs, so if you want to talk about the warning signs for
any of those in particular, we can, but all the information is available on the PartySafe website, and is part of the education. – [Rodolfo] This might be a great moment to talk about PartySafe,
you’ve mentioned this a couple of times as well
as the PartySafe monitors or the counselors… – [Karen] PartySafe interns. – [Rodolfo] Thank you, PartySafe interns. – Student volunteers. – [Rodolfo] What is PartySafe,
where is it located, what’s the website? – PartySafe is a program of University Health Services Tang
Center, and it’s basically a campaign to minimize the harm related to drinking and parties
around the campus area. We work with all sorts
of campus and community partners to create an environment that encourages healthy choices, and an environment that doesn’t assume or overestimate that everybody is using irresponsibly. We’re housed at Tang but
the best way to connect with PartySafe is through
the website, I’d say, for starters, it’s just
partysafe.berkeley.edu. You can get to that website via the alcohol on campus website. If you do alcohol at
berkeley, you’ll get somewhere that will lead you to more
information and resources. There’s educational
resources, there’s also facts about college drinking, about
the standard drinks etc. We’re very active and we’re very excited about the culture change
that is under way. It’s a good time. – [Andrew] I could just
interject one little thing about when to interscene. There’s also, I think, a
key point in any bystander’s life when they see somebody in trouble and the questions is,
“Do I get help or not?” Very often, the bystander thinks, “I need to keep this quiet. “I do not wanna get my
friend into trouble. “I might even get into trouble myself “if I’m in bad shape.” I have personally
witnessed situations where a student clearly needed
to go to the hospital. The student was in such bad shape that they needed medical attention, but another student would resist that. And that student became an obstacle to the crisis intervention
people coming in and providing the
assistance that the student who truly needed help could get. So I think that if you do see this, it really is important
to act sooner than later, and to not worry about the consequences of what might happen tomorrow in terms of disciplinary
action or anything like that. If someone is physically distressed from alcohol poisoning,
they need help right away, and they need to be seen
by medical professionals. That’s my default, is always to think in terms of get help sooner than later. – In the event you do call
911, your friend is really at that point or you don’t
know how to help them, what are the costs or legal ramifications? – [Rodolfo] You mentioned
disciplinary issues. That’s scary stuff. – A lot of times in my workshops, I ask, “Have you been in a position “where you were debating
whether to call 911?” Typically, 10 hands go up and I say, “Keep your hand
up if you actually made “the call and tell us
what actually happened,” and here is what actually
happens, which again, is not necessarily often
what people perceive or they’re afraid about. What happens is the paramedics will come, sometimes the police come along with them only to make sure that it’s gonna work and be safe for the
paramedics, they come in, they ask to find the person,
they deal with the person, and life safety is their top priority, and they leave, and that
usually can be the end of it. The party host might be contacted by our campus Student Conduct Office later for a conversation about what happened, what could happen
differently the next time. It doesn’t mean there’s no consequences but it’s not a legal consequence. It’s not necessarily highly disciplinary. It’s a learning opportunity
and a social obligation. – [Rodolfo] Let me take
this opportunity to add, just since you bring it up. How does one become a responsible party host? – We’re on my favorite topic. (laughs) – [Rodolfo] Glad to help, Karen. – I’ll tell you why it’s
partly my favorite topic because I’m excited to be with you all and sharing this
information that is targeted towards our individual new students. But there are 7,000 of them every year. Every weekend though, in this town, there’s probably about
50, maximum, party hosts. If we can reach the party hosts and the party hosts do the
things, do the planning, and have the security, including, hopefully passing an
ASUC bill that’s calling for all party hosts of
parties of more than 50 or more, to restrict
access to hard alcohol in common areas, to insure
that they have sober monitors, sober hosts, and
trained alcohol servers, and to keep the maximum
capacity underneath what is legally required. All of that creates a safer
setting for whomever’s at the party, whether
they’re using or not. We do have a party thrower
checklist that we’d love to offer people, and we
are happy to have you contact us and provide consultation. – Who else can be called other than 911? I’ve heard something about
calling Poison Control, things like that. – Yeah.
– Who else can students call? – You can call Poison Control. One of the reasons that can be appealing, and they’re very knowledgeable. Alcohol, as you mentioned,
has poisonous capacity and Poison Control is
equipped to talk to students about what they’re seeing
and whether it warrants a call to 911 or not. It’s anonymous and it’s another option. It’s an option but as a campus, we did think about this
pretty deeply at one point, and just said we need this message to also be pretty simple, which is
if they’ve reached this point and they need help immediately, call 911. – [Andrew] Again, to interject
something real quickly. If you only have a cell
phone and you wanna get a hold of the University of California Police Department, the number to dial is 510-642-3333. If you just dial 911, you’re probably gonna get the CHP, so 510-642-3333.
– [Rodolfo] It’s a good idea to have that number– – I have it programmed into my cell phone. – What’s the different between calling that number and calling 911? – There is no difference, it’s just that that’s the number you would reach UCPD emergency line via cell phone. – Andy, let me ask you the same question, which is a student might be very aware that they’re
calling the police, so even more nervous
about getting arrested or getting into deep trouble by virtue of helping somebody out. What happens when you call the UC Police? – Once again, I’ve been with the police when they’ve done these
responses, and I think, first of all, the important
thing to know about the University of California
Police Department, is that they are
specifically trained to work with students of this age. So they’re dealing with a
radically different community than the communities, let’s
say, a municipal police department would be dealing with. They’ve been trained and they understand a lot of the sensitivities and concerns, the stage of life, all those other issues, they have background in these things, and they respond appropriately. They’re not gonna draw their guns. They’re not gonna turn
into a confrontation. They’re gonna make sure that life safety is the A number one thing that’s seen to. Again, I’ve been with
them when there have been bystanders who have stood between them and the student who needed help, and they never got argumentative or rough. They get persuasive. They start to explain the stuff to you. That’s just the way our polices force has been trained to operate. – I don’t know if your
students have talked to you about this, but also, aside from medical, if you’re at a party and
medical issues aside, if there is just trouble starting to brew or it’s getting overcrowded, you can contact the police
and it’s been great to talk to students who’ve actually done it. The police came and they helped them disperse the party. And if there was altercations emerging, they helped deal with it. – [Rodolfo] In other words,
you don’t have to wait for the super emergency to recruit the help of the community
that’s already there for you. – Yeah, think of police
as public safety help that we pay for, so we need– – [Rodolfo] It sounds so trite to say and yet, it’s such an
important, fundamental change in our perception of law enforcement. Let me turn, for one second,
to the role of education. We’ve all talked about educating ourselves but I’m interested, David,
from your experience, how are people changed
by taking your course? – My perception is that they come away from the education with a lot more appreciation of the poison-medicine balance. It’s not that we usually think of alcohol as a medicine, but you
can think of alcohol as having these beneficial things that are the reasons
why people seek it out. And beyond a certain
point, the poison things dominate, so to get appreciation
of those boundaries, that balance between poison and medicine, and to have respect for that. That’s what I really
emphasize, is understanding and respect for the
relationship that one has with whatever the substance is. We’re talking about alcohol here but it can be anything, it
can be caffeine, marijuana, other stuff that’s out there. – Let’s talk about risk
management and training. People often hear the word risk manager. Andy, you are one such person. – I am.
– What is a risk manager? – Good question, and when I
find out I’ll let you know. (everyone laughs) Basically, the whole
idea of risk management is to prevent bad things from happening. And when the bad thing does happen, to try to deal with it
in the most effective, least harmful way possible. Really, what we tend to be about, is making sure that the
bad thing doesn’t happen in the first place. Within our office, and I think a lot of risk management type of functions, the ethos is we don’t say “No,” because risk is intrinsic to living. There’s a risk every
time you get out of bed in the morning, and there’s a risk staying in bed in the morning. We know that it’s intrinsic to living so we don’t say “No”, we say “How.” There’s a certain way to go about the way you do things that will maximize the likelihood that at the end of the day, you’ll be able to smile about them. That’s really what risk
management is about, is, again, managing the risk in a way that you can get through the experience, enjoy it, and move on to the next one. – [Rodolfo] You mention your office. Is your office accessible
to undergraduates or should they turn to [email protected] for alcohol-related issues? – I think if they’re specifically
interested in alcohol, I would say PartySafe
would be the place to go. We tend to be more of a
coordinating in general office, we’re happy to work with anyone who wants to ask a question of us, but certainly when it comes to alcohol we’re more likely to
guide them to an office that has more specialization, so it would be PartySafe or there might be some psychological
services in the Tang Center that might be useful. So we would work with you to figure out the best place to go, and
we would guide you there. – He’s had a great phrase in the past, “Everybody is a risk manager.” I’ll just say, from students,
I think one of the barriers to them being as good a risk manager for themselves as they could be, is you have to admit you
don’t know everything. You have to think ahead and decide you’re gonna think it through further than you might want to. And you can’t automatically
trust everything out there. You have to take responsibility
for thinking it through on your on, making
choices, and moving slowly. Brand new students to
this campus are so far out their comfort zone to start with. New place, new people, everything new. So you don’t necessarily need to add new intoxicating levels of
experience at the same time. – [Dree] We have talked
about risk management at the administrative level. What about risk managers at parties? Are there student groups
on campus that hold more parties, do they have
built-in risk managers? And how do they get trained? Are there services offered here? – [Karen] I would say
that where parties happen that students tend to go to, tend to be at fraternity settings, co-ops, and other off-campus house parties. And those are the party settings that I am most concerned about. Yes, they do all have some
risk management policies and they have risk management personnel but I don’t think we are,
as a campus and community, where we wanna be in terms
of the actual fulfilment and actualization of that. – One of the important
messages coming out of this is, I loved your phrase that
we are all risk managers. That’s one of the themes
coming out in this wellness seminar, that we are
all responsible members of a broader community. Our individual behaviors
impact ourselves and others. We’ve run out of time
but I would like to ask each of you, given our
audience have incoming undergraduates, for that 15-second nugget of information that
you would like students to take home with them around alcohol. Let me start with you, David. – If contemporary brain science has shown us anything, it’s that the behaviors that we
repeat over and over again, lock in the circuitry of the brain that lead to inclinations
toward doing those behaviors for the rest of our lives. To put together good
habits of our relationship with alcohol and lots of other things, sleep, nutrition, all this stuff, this is one of the best ways
one could possibly spend their time while at Cal. – [Rodolfo] Andy? – To follow up on a lot of
what David’s been saying, I think we should all endeavor to maximize the medical or beneficial side and minimize the poison side. As long as we’re just aware and respectful of what alcohol can do to
us when we are not thinking about it and not responsible
about it, we’ll be ok. – [Rodolfo] Karen? – [Karen] I guess my
number one thing would be I really invite them to get connected. So we have a PartySafe Cal listserv that we want everybody to
join so we can keep you updated about new resources,
updates, opportunities for training and education. It’s not something that
you’ll automatically be assigned to, so you
have to join my choice. And take care of yourself. Build healthy habits, monitor your use, and when things are off
track, know that we are here to help you get them back on track quickly and effectively, but
we need you to find out about those things and connect with us. – And be an active
participant in the community. – [Karen] Yeah, join us
as your own risk manager. – [Rodolfo] Karen Hughes, David Presti, Andrew Goldblatt, thank you so much for joining us today, and
thank you for watching. We’ll see you in the next show. (soft music)

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