Partying. Who doesn’t love it? Celebrating your team's winning streak, going to the concert put on by a frat, and enjoying the weekend are all very normal parts of college party culture. While so much of the college experience is defined by good times, parties, and late night escapades, these moments also come with responsibilities we often don’t think about.

Partying on college campuses has become dangerously linked with the presence of sexual assault. The strong correlation between party culture and sexual misconduct cannot be ignored. While it is clear that drugs and alcohol are not what is to blame in the event of assault, the presence of alcohol and drugs do impair judgement, which means that it’s all the more important to make sure we look out for our friends.

There are certain Do’s and Don’t Do’s that you should follow when out partying.

Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 11.55.20 AM.png

Don’t leave your friend hanging, and Do stick with them throughout the night.

Do encourage your friend to talk to the person they’ve been eyeing from across the room, but Don’t let your friend leave with someone, especially if you feel like the person they’re with is raising red flags.

Do go hard on the dance floor, but Don’t let anyone grab your friend to dance without asking them first.

Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 11.58.30 AM.png

And of course, Do enjoy yourself, but Don’t ever leave the party and expect your friend to find their way home alone. Even if it takes carrying them or having them airlifted, never leave a friend behind.

Whether we realize it or not, friends help out a lot in making sure the night is fun. They are needed for the not-so-serious stuff like letting you know if there’s a clothing malfunction, but they’re also good to have in the event something goes wrong.  

Sometimes the night can take a bad turn, and we can no longer make decisions for ourselves. Going to a party and sticking with friends protects us from being taken advantage of.

A friend can look out for you when you can’t look out for yourself, and they can more easily determine if you’re okay than someone who may have just met you. A friend keeps strangers from coming to bother you because you aren’t alone. Most importantly, a friend should have no problem telling someone when to back off when you might not be able to do that for yourself.

It’s easy to get carried away, especially when it’s time to leave the party. Sometimes we’re not in the right headspace to know where to go, who to call, or how to get home, but a sober friend is the one who helps get us there. True friends will be the ones to help you leave no matter what; even if you don’t want to leave, they’re not going home without you.

Partying and enjoying yourself should never have to be sacrificed because of fear for your own safety. However, the truth is that one major hotspot for crimes of assault are college campuses. A good friend could decrease your vulnerability in the event something goes wrong.  

The next time you go out, have a designated sober friend who you stick with throughout the night. By making sure you’re always in the same room or deciding to dancing together the whole night, friends keep the evening fun, safe, and memorable come the next day.