Just Call campaign teaches students to recognize signs of alcohol poisoning
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 01:09
This week, Miami University’s Office of Student Wellness will launch its new Just Call campaign, which will educate students about signs of alcohol and drug abuse and encourage them to call for emergency assistance if they see those signs in a fellow student, according to Director of Student Wellness Rebecca Baudry.
Just Call ties into the larger I Am Miami campaign that was launched at convocation for first year students, Baudry said. I Am Miami is the campus-wide phrase the administration is using to define the traits they strive to instill in Miami students: integrity, honor, and respect for each other.
“The Just Call campaign helps to give students the tools to live out those values,” Baudry said. “Our expectation is that students will embrace the code of love and honor and show respect and help each other.”
In conjunction with the new Good Samaritan Policy, Just Call reassures students that seeking emergency care for alcohol or drug abuse will not lead to judicial citations. If a student calls seeking emergency assistance, the primary concern for law enforcement and emergency responders will be getting that person immediate medical attention.
“We’re not in there trying to arrest people or write tickets,” Miami University Chief of Police John McCandless said. “We’re there to try to help get the person to the emergency room.”
McCandless emphasized that the idea of Just Call is nothing new for the Miami University Police. Law enforcement has always considered alcohol abuse a medical emergency. McCandless said he feels confident that the Just Call campaign will help students feel comfortable giving the police a call if somebody has an alcohol or drug related issue.
When asked whether he thought that students would take advantage of the Good Samaritan Policy, Graduate Resident Advisor Nathan Toft said he was uncertain. He was concerned that the students would not call police knowing that law enforcement does not want them to be drinking in the first place. However, Toft said he believes that further promotion of Just Call and the Good Samaritan Policy will result in higher student involvement.
“I think that the more the policy is promoted, the more students will think about calling,” Toft said. “We need to make sure people are focusing on safety and not preoccupied with the legal ramifications.”
This week, the Office of Student Wellness will be launching and promoting its Just Call campaign to educate students on the signs of alcohol poisoning and encourage them to call Miami University law enforcement as soon as they see these signs in fellow students.
Along with placing educational materials on bulletin boards and TV screens throughout the campus buildings, the Office of Student Wellness will be printing magnets and business cards with information about what to do in case of an emergency, Baudry said. Students need to know that as part of the Miami community, it is their job to respect and look out for one another.
“This is a great idea and we want the students to be comfortable enough to do the right thing,” McCandless said. “We absolutely encourage people to just call.”