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Lucier: Staying safe at Ain’t Patty’s Day

Ain’t Patty’s Day is a time-honored tradition for Clemson students. Each year, students flood the downtown scene in a sea of green, and most of us make it through the day safely. Starting your bar crawl with these tips in mind will help you ensure you and your group make it back safe and sound while still fully participating in this sacred Clemson tradition.
There are things that many of us do throughout our daily lives that we might not even realize help us to stay safe. Things like going to the bathroom together, carpooling and even reaching for a BORG instead of a beer on gameday are great ways to lower risk. However, it’s good to take a step back and ask yourself if there’s anything else you can do to keep yourself safe. 
There are four main categories of risk management: identifying, attending, responding and monitoring, according to Auditboard. For barhopping, all four of these are vital. As someone who has seen her fair share of things go wrong for others downtown, you can’t really underestimate how much you need to stay aware of your surroundings. That being said, I have five key ways to keep up with each of these four types of risk management that won’t interfere with your ability to have fun and celebrate.  
One, keep an eye on your surroundings. Make sure to take note of anyone who may be overindulging or if someone is following your group. Being able to identify problems before they happen is key. If you are able to figure out what could go wrong, like people getting lost, you can plan on how to avoid it, like turning location sharing on.
Two, if you see something, say something. If you see something suspicious or something that could go wrong, say something to your group. Communicating about what is happening around you is so important for keeping everyone safe.
Three, if something is going wrong, fix it. Whether that’s getting someone to a safer location or getting them water, make it happen. Don’t let a situation get worse because you’re afraid of being seen as bossy. A lot of the time, people don’t notice they’re in an unsafe situation until it’s too late.
Four, once you get safe, stay safe. If your group was being followed by someone or someone overindulged, don’t go back to the situation you just escaped.
Five, though this should go without saying, if you’re under 21, please don’t go out this year. I understand what it’s like to feel like you’re missing out, but as someone who gets the chance to read the crime report every week, there are way too many of y’all taking that risk. There will be so many more opportunities to go out that don’t end with the strong chance of your arrest; so please, make good decisions. 
It’s not hard to practice safety, especially if you are communicating with your friends. As long as you stay with someone you trust and look out for one another, you will likely have a much safer, and fun, Ain’t Patty’s Day.
Healey Lucier is a senior horticulture major from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Healey can be reached at [email protected].

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