The JCR has helped to put together a new College alcohol policy, which you can read in full here (http://www.joh.cam.ac.uk/stay-safe-night-out). The policy compiles general guidelines about drinking safely, as well as information about the support services available if you have to help someone who is the worse for wear. It also makes clear what the College considers acceptable – and unacceptable – drinking behaviour.
For convenience, we’ve summarised the main points here. In simple terms, though, please be sensible with your own drinking, watch out for one another, and show consideration for everyone who lives and works in College, so that we can make it an enjoyable and civilised place to be.
College alcohol policy in summary:
Managing your intake
• Eat before drinking and avoid “pre-drinking” before a big night out.
• Set a limit for yourself and stick to it.
• Have a “strategic” soft drink to keep yourself hydrated.
• Avoid drinking in rounds.
• Think about how you’re going to get home, and who with, before you go out.
• If you’re out in a group, don’t abandon a member of the group and if one of you gets badly drunk, bring them back to College to the Porters, who will know how to help. The College also has a carer scheme for this type of situation.
• Spiking of drinks is unusual, but only accept drinks from people you trust.
• If drinking is affecting your life and work, or that of one of your friends, there are numerous organisations that can help. These include the College Nurse, Chaplain, your Tutor, your GP, the University Counselling Service, and numerous others detailed in the policy.
• If you choose to drink, please do so responsibly and don’t abuse it.
• Don’t force people to drink more than they want to, in drinking games, initiation ceremonies, etc.
• If you’re organising an event, make sure that there are always non-alcoholic options available to people, as well as food.
• Dinner in Hall is for everyone to enjoy, and everyone is expected to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
• Certain kinds of misconduct involving alcohol and drunken behaviour are treated as disciplinary offences and can lead to the imposition of penalties by the Dean – this is covered further in the Policy itself. Bear in mind that you may do things when you are drunk that you would never consider doing when you’re sober. These can have life-changing consequences that neither you nor the College can put right.