Santa Clara University

Wellness Center

Party Tips

How To Party Smart At SCU

As a student, it is important for you to know not only the consequences of drinking, but also that if you choose to drink, that you are informed of how to make more responsible drinking choices to avoid becoming sick or getting into dangerous situations (i.e., sexual assault, regretted sex, accidents).At SCU we believe that “responsible drinking” never includes underage drinking.However, it is also dangerous to assume that some underage students will not experiment or regularly consume alcohol during their college years.We encourage you to please educate yourself about CA law and SCU policies on underage drinking, as well as become informed on the risks associated with drinking, and how you can make more informed and responsible drinking choices to protect yourself and others during your time at SCU. If you choose to drink, please try to stick to the following “responsible drinking” guidelines.They may just save your life!

  • Set a limit before you start drinking and stick to it! If you have never tried alcohol before, go VERY slowly.Get to know your body and how it responds to alcohol.
  • Space and pace drinks.A good rule is no more than one drink per hour!
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks
  • Eat before and while drinking.With food in your stomach, alcohol gets absorbed more slowly.
  • Pace your drinks: Don’t pound, shotgun or straight-shot your drinks. Sticking to one drink an hour helps you maximize the positive effects and minimize the negative effects alcohol can bring.
  • Avoid drinking games
  • Be aware of your mood – don’t drink to cover up anger, stress, or sadness. Alcohol can make negative feelings even more intense. Alcohol is only a temporary mask for these feelings and continued use of alcohol in this way leave someone especially vulnerable to abuse, dependence and addiction.
  • Bring enough money for a cab.Never drive or get into a car with someone who has been drinking
  • Don’t Mix.Mixing alcohol (i.e., hard liquor with beer) increases your risks of getting sick.
  • Never place your drink out of sight, or take drinks from strangers
  • Never go to parties alone or leave alone. Always stick with trusted friends and make promises to watch out for each other.

We are encouraged to learn that many SCU students are choosing not to drink and are making healthier choices regarding alcohol consumption including monitoring how much they drink, making sure they have food in their stomachs to avoid becoming sick, and using designated drivers. Here are some SCU statistics from our Spring 2004 National College Health Assessment survey (n=812 undergraduate students).

  • 17.3% of SCU students have never used alcohol (17.9% reference group)*
  • 68.7% of SCU students have never used cigarettes (62.5%)
  • 59.9% of SCU students drink 4 or fewer drinks when they party (60.4%)
  • 37.8% of SCU students determine in advance not to exceed a certain number of drinks (34.4%)
  • 72.8 %of SCU students “usually” or “always” keep track of how many drinks they consume when partying(65.2 %)
  • 82.8%of SCU students “usually” or “always” eat before and during drinking (76.7%)
  • 86.6% of SCU students “usually” or “always” use a designated driver (76.4%)
  • 9.0% of SCU students choose to drink an alcohol look-alike when partying (6.4%)

*Numbers in parentheses indicate the Spring 2004 National Reference Group statistics. These statistics were complied from 47,202 students on 74 college and University campuses across the country who also participated in this Spring 2004 survey.

Important Reasons for Students Not to Drink.
  • Underage drinking is illegal.It is illegal in the state of California to purchase, be in the possession of, or to consume alcohol for those who are under 21 years of age.The Santa Clara Police Department will issue a citation to anyone who is in violation of this law and will notify Santa Clara University if the individual is a student at the University.The University will hold any student accountable for violating the Student Conduct Code if they are cited by the police on or off campus for an alcohol violation.Additionally, the University will sanction those students who violate the University’s Alcoholic Beverage Policy or the Alcohol Policy Within the Residence Halls.
  • You are on medication.It is never possible to know for sure the effect that mixing alcohol with other drugs will have on a user. There are so many factors that affect the action of the drugs that it is impossible to accurately consider them all. They include, but are not limited to, the user’s mood, body chemistry, other medications or illnesses, and psychological history. Even a medical professional would not be able to say for sure what the effect of an interaction will be. See Mixing Alcohol with Medications.
  • You have a family history of alcoholism. If one or more members of your immediate or extended family has suffered from alcoholism, your student may be somewhat more vulnerable to developing a drinking problem. Your student needs to know that for him or her, drinking may carry special risks.
  • Drinking can be dangerous. One of the leading causes of young adult deaths is motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol. Drinking also makes a young person more vulnerable to sexual assault and unprotected sex. And while your student may believe he or she wouldn’t engage in hazardous activities after drinking, point out that because alcohol impairs judgment, a drinker is very likely to think such activities won’t be dangerous.
  • You have depression or another mental illness. Drinking alcohol can make symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses (i.e., anxiety, bipolar disorder) even worse. If you think you may be drinking to cover up negative emotions or to "self-medicate", please seek help from a professional at the counseling center.

Help Is Available

If you are concerned about your own or a friend's drinking behavior, please do not hesitate to call some of the following resources:

On Campus:
Counseling Center554-4172 **free and confidential counseling
Health Center 554-4501
Wellness Center 554-4409 **free educational brochures, resources, and consultation

Off Campus:

Alcoholics Anonymous
(408) 374-8511
274 E. Hamilton Ave.
Campbell, CA

Al-Anon and Alateen Information(408) 379-1051
**for family and friends of alcoholics

Narcotics Anonymous

(408) 998-4200
Greater San Jose Area Service Committee
of Narcotics Anonymous
P.O. Box 59114
San Jose CA 95159
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