Greek leaders become TIPS certified

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By Matt Olson

This past Saturday, Feb. 8, 30 members of the Greek community attended a workshop on TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) training and how to responsibly host a social event.

According to their website, TIPS is a “global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale and consumption of alcohol.” The organization offers many different kinds of certification, including one for universities, which was what was covered by the workshop.

The original purpose for TIPS was to provide waiters and bartenders the skills necessary for preventing their customers from becoming intoxicated.

The TIPS for University program claims to help prevent property damage, drunk driving, underage drinking and other potentially hazardous situations by training individuals to spot these problems before they arise and give them tips for responding to the incident in an appropriate manner.

The workshop was hosted by the Union Greek Life office and was run by Jack Radin, a Long Island lieutenant in the city of Long Beach, N.Y. He talked about how to properly recognize intoxication, how to check forms of identification and how to handle situations that become potentially hazardous.

The workshop was attended by leaders of the IFC fraternities and the Panhellenic sororities. At the end of the workshop, each participating member completed TIPS certification. This certification recognizes their training and helps the leaders monitor situations involving alcohol where persons may become intoxicated.

A few of the main points that Radin covered were effectively monitoring situations involving peers and alcohol.

He advised students to “work in teams” in places where altercations may occur, such as working the door at a fraternity house or near a bar where alcohol may be served.

He also told students that college IDs are not valid forms of identification under New York State law. The four types of valid ID are a government-issued driver’s license or identification card, a military ID or a federal passport.

Each fraternity and sorority was given a flashlight to help in identifying valid IDs, and Radin advised all students to check for IDs to avoid criminal charges should an incident arise.

Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Liz Artz believes that the TIPS training is another positive step for Greek Life at Union.  Artz said, “The fraternities and sororities are working hard towards making a safe environment when they host events with alcohol.”

In order to host a social event involving alcohol, a fraternity house must follow a specific procedure in order to register with the college and Campus Safety. The chapter must get written approval from the Greek Life office and then register with Campus Safety. When this happens, Campus Safety gives each house color-coded bracelets to give to each person who attends the social event.

Throughout the night of the social event, Campus Safety makes check-ins before, during and after the event to ensure that no harmful situations are arising. Campus Safety also checks the alcohol supply of each house to make sure they are not holding too much alcohol to serve.

The main points for the TIPS training on Saturday included how much alcohol is “too much,” how to handle an individual who has consumed too much and how to limit the possibility of a risk arising.

Artz hopes that this TIPS training adequately educates Greek Leaders on how to properly host events with alcohol in the future.

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