Date: November 10, 2011
To: Fourth-Year Students
From: Teresa A. Sullivan, President
Re: Safety Surrounding the Final Two Home Football Games
Dear Fourth-Year Students:
We will celebrate our final two home football games in the next two weeks, with the game on Saturday against Duke and the game against Virginia Tech on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. These are occasions to have fun and celebrate, but also times to consider safety--your own safety and that of your classmates.
In the past, some students have used the occasion of the final home football game as an excuse to drink to excess. A handful of students attempt to consume an entire fifth of liquor on game day. This is a very dangerous decision. A fifth of 80-proof liquor (17 drinks) can kill you. Seventeen drinks spaced evenly over six hours can result in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.32 for a 160-pound man and 0.42 for a 130-pound woman. Most people lose consciousness and other bodily functions start to shut down at a BAC of more than 0.30, and a BAC of 0.40 or more is generally lethal.
Several years ago, one of our fourth-year students died after she drank heavily on the day of the last home football game. Her death remains a vivid reminder of the danger of excessive consumption.
Your commitment to student self-governance implies that you take responsibility for yourself and for members of your student community. If a friend's behavior puts him or her (or others) at risk, speak up and show your concern. Encourage students around you to make healthy choices. If necessary, seek help and support from other students, from the deans, from medical staff.
I hope to see you at our final home football games. Cheer on the Cavaliers when we play Duke and Virginia Tech, and have a great time in appropriate ways.
Very truly yours,
Teresa A. Sullivan
- Don't leave a drunken friend alone regardless of whether or not she or he is conscious. Call 911 for a friend who has passed out. BAC may continue to rise despite unconsciousness. Students will not face reprisal for seeking medical help, and there is no charge for the rescue squad.
- If you do not know what to do in a dangerous situation, or if your own judgment is impaired, call 911 for help. Or at the very least, call a sober friend to help you.
- Whenever you choose to drink, take precautions to minimize risks to yourselves and others.
Before deciding to drink:
- eat a high-protein meal
- determine ahead of time not to exceed a set number of drinks
- ask a friend to let you know when you've had enough
If you do drink:
- alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic beverages
- keep track of how many drinks you're having
- pace your drink to one or fewer per hour
- stay in a group