Documentary “Haze” examines binge drinking on college campuses
University administrators are attempting to educate students on the risks and complications of excessive alcohol consumption with the public premiere of the documentary “Haze.”
“I hope everyone in the room is affected by this,” said Lauren Edwards, a junior international affairs major and public relations director for Guidelines and Objectives of Responsible Drinking at CU.
This week commemorates the anniversary of the death of freshman Lynn Gordon “Gordie” Bailey Jr. Bailey died after a night of excessive drinking at the off-campus Chi Psi fraternity house.
It is estimated that 1,700 students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related incidents, according to a study from the Annual Review of Public Health, leading to what can be considered a nationwide epidemic on college campuses.
The CU student group GORD hopes to make a change on the psyche of college students. GORD was created by students on the CU campus to help raise awareness about irresponsible alcohol drinking habits and to curb the drinking culture problem.
The documentary was produced on and around campus, highlighting many of the alcohol-related problems in the CU student community.
“It is a big deal,” said Edwards. “It hits home, it really makes you stop and think.”
The documentary examines binge drinking on college campuses, with 35 interviews from experts. It contains nudity and graphic content showing the horrors of what a night of heavy alcohol consumption may entail for the young college student.
“We’ve done a lot on this campus since Gordie’s death,” said Jane Curtis, the director of alcohol and other drugs programs at CU. “One of my goals is to speak to students today about the dangers they face today.”
The CU administration has made leaps and bounds in alcohol education and prevention, requiring all incoming students to complete AlcoholEdu, an online alcohol prevention course. “Haze” is yet another addition to the attempts to encourage responsible drinking habits.
Students are responding well to this extra education.
“I’ve learned a lot in the past three weeks,” said Kathleen McCaffrey, a freshman integrative physiology major. “I’ve learned that you have to watch out for yourself and be responsible with what decisions you make.
The documentary has caused an unsettling feeling for some students because of how it illustrates Greek life.
“We see it enough, we don’t need to be told,” said Candace Stinson, a junior psychology and sociology major and sorority member. “A lot of people in the Greek system try to avoid this. We were all concerned about the way it would be portrayed.”
Sororities, however, have established a rule for responsible drinking that any CU student should be able follow: ask for help when needed.
“We’re not going to take a gamble or try to second-guess anything,” said Shannon Kelly, a sorority advisor. “If there’s even a gut feeling that there is something wrong with a woman, 911 is called.”
Here are some simple warning signs to look for in a friend in the case of an emergency:
Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or person cannot be roused
Slow breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute)
Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
Hypothermia (low body temperature, bluish skin color, paleness)
GORD members and CU officials are encouraging students to understand the effects of drinking in an effort to ensure responsible fun.
The documentary will be shown again for public viewing at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday in the ATLAS building.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Natasha Z. Dadabhoy at email@example.com.