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How to Stay Safe on St.Patrick’s Day at Laurier

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

St. Paddy’s is arguably one of the most anticipated events at Laurier. Waterloo’s St. Paddy’s celebrations end up on the news every year. Plus, this is the first year since 2020 that COVID-19 restrictions have been completely lifted by Laurier, so people are getting ready for an eventful Friday! However, no amount of fun is worth being stuck in a dangerous situation. Here are a few tips to have a fun and safe St. Paddy’s: 

1. Prepare before you go out

Before you start partying, remember to prepare for a day of drinking or smoking. Make sure you drink lots of water throughout the day and have a big meal before drinking. Poor appetite and low water intake will prevent you from making it through the day. Besides, it’ll ease the next day’s hangover!

2. Don’t drink and drive

Do not drive under the influence! If you’ve been smoking or drinking and you feel fine, it doesn’t necessarily mean your senses aren’t impaired. If you’re under the age of 21, you cannot have any alcohol in your system and if you’re older than that, you can get in trouble for having a blood alcohol level over 0.05! Consider calling someone sober (a designated driver) or calling Uber or Lyft to get to a new destination. Alternatively, you can use Laurier’s safe-walk home service with Waterloo Foot Patrol (their contact information is given below). 

Source: https://www.ontario.ca/page/impaired-driving

3. Figure out your tolerance levels

Not everyone has the same tolerance to certain substances. Whether it be alcohol or marijuana, your limit may not be as high as that of your friends. So, it’s important to know when you need to stop. In a situation where a friend tells you that they’re done drinking/smoking for the night, make sure to respect their decision. 

4. Avoid mixing substances

It’s not a good idea to mix different substances, especially uppers and downers. These substances have completely different effects and can sometimes lead to fatal consequences. Even mixing drinks can cause you to get inebriated much faster, resulting in sickness and other extreme side effects.

5. Respect consent

Consent is key! You must ensure that you have someone’s consent before engaging in any sexual encounters. Ensure that consent is given willingly and enthusiastically and can be taken away at any time. Pressuring someone is not consent; if you are told “no,” accept the response and leave that person alone. Plus, drinking can affect people’s ability to give consent. If someone is drunk, they cannot truly give you consent. Moreover, if you see someone in an uncomfortable situation, help the person and make sure to contact the proper authorities if a situation escalates.

6. Use the buddy system

It’s important to always stick with your friends throughout the day. Try to stay in a group and if you end up splitting up, try your best to have at least one other person with you. Use the buddy system when gathering outside, going to parties or other locations and when going to the bathroom. If your friend is leaving with someone, make sure that they are doing so willingly. If this isn’t the case, or if your friend is too drunk to consent, do not let them leave with that person. 

7. Use the resources available to you

If you ever feel unsafe, here are some campus resources you can contact for help:

Laurier’s Gendered and Sexual Violence Prevention and Support

Email: svinfo@wlu.ca

Phone: 519-884-0710 x4847

24-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line

Phone: 519-741-8633

WLU Foot Patrol (Waterloo)

Email: footpatrol@wlu.ca

Phone: 519-886-3668

Instagram: @wlu_footpatrol_w

Download Laurier’s SAFEHawk App for Apple, Android, Blackberry

Link: https://students.wlu.ca/wellness-and-recreation/safety/special-constable-service/safehawk-safety-app.html

Phone (SCS): 519-885-3333 (or x.3333)

Remember to watch out for your friends and peers this St. Paddy’s Day! Most importantly, have fun and stay safe!

Bhavya Jagdev

Wilfrid Laurier '25

Bhavya is a third-year BBA student at Wilfrid Laurier University. She loves to read (her favourite genres are fantasy and mystery) and spend a little too much money at Starbucks. She also enjoys travelling, spending time with her friends and family and (of course) writing.