by Christine Urio
On Thur., Sept. 18, Mount Saint Mary College hosted “Trashed,” a Redzone event with the aim of building awareness about alcohol usage and its relationship to poor choices.
Comic and former high-risk drinker, Wendy Fox has been sharing her testimony and personal journey from being reckless to responsible, across college campuses.
As an alcohol awareness speaker, she refers to herself as a good example of a bad example.
“I’m a realist. It’s against the policy, but I want to share my experience, save lives, and have you be safe,” Fox said.
One of her biggest suggestions was to have a “Sober Sitter.”
“We do things drinking that we wouldn’t do sober,” she said, “A Sober Sitter is a voice of reason—it’s all encompassing, like the CIA, FBI, and daycare in one.”
Fox also encouraged students not to leave anybody in your group behind, in order to protect each other: “If you leave with seven people, you come back with seven people, this isn’t Vietnam,” she said.
In reality, the world is dangerous enough without being inebriated and Fox encouraged students to not have a false sense of security: “You need to have a plan to protect yourself before you leave the house, because those who want to hurt you have a plan before they leave the house.”
She explained how many people don’t help those who are drunk because people tend to think they brought it on themselves: “We have compassion for those who are victims, but we need to stop the bystander effect and step up to help them.”
Fox informed that if you are with a friend who is in danger because they drank too much, you’re liable and it is good to act quickly: “We’ll walk away from a drunk, but not a wounded puppy on the side of the road—we wouldn’t do that to a small animal, but we would to a human.”
At one point in the presentation, Fox shared her unfortunate experience of being drugged by a friend whom she had known for 12 years.
“The person who drugged you,” she warned, “is going to be standing next to you because they’re waiting for it to take effect.”
When she got into a car crash, she realized that everything can change in one second and you cannot go back.
“Is this a respectable exit? What is your legacy?” she asked the audience, prompting them to think over the situation.
She encouraged the students to live out their great legacies forming each day, and to harness the spirit of a child.
“That spirit is what we’re trying to find inside of us,” she said, “The spirit that feels confident, has a good time, doesn’t care what anybody thinks—this is why we use alcohol.”
The presentation hit home with the audience, who is now better able to save lives, be safe, and find a buzz without the booze.