St Patricks Day Safety, Substance Use Tips & Consent Reminders

Mar 14th, 2023

St. Patrick's Day  Safety & Substance Use Tips + Consent Reminders

Planning on celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year? Check out the resources and tips below to ensure you have a safe and fun experience.  

Don't forget! Check out our booth in the UC on Thursday, March 14, 2024 from 12pm-2pm to pick up some *freebies and *snacks and to speak with our Wellness team and peers about any questions you have! *While supplies last.  

General Tips and Reminders to Have a Better St. Patrick's Day Experience: 

Before you leave the house: 

  • Plan a safe route home: Check out the Late Night Bus Service & Daily Bus Service Routes, write the number to a local cab company on your hand and keep your phone charged so you can call a cab or order an Uber, and/or look up directions. 
  • Eat something filling to start the day: This is especially important before you begin drinking. Check out Hospitality Services menu and hours to score your breakfast on campus!  
  • Pack snacks and water in your bag 
  • Only consume what you bought or brought. View Substance Use Tips 
  • Download the SafeGryphon app: The app features several services, including: 
  • Click to Call - connects to emergency services 
  • Friend Walk - share your location real-time with a friend 
  • Call SafeWalk - a free service that provides a safe and reliable escort after dark for any person on the University of Guelph campus 
  • Personal Alarm and Flashlight - Draw attention to yourself in an emergency situation by sounding a loud alarm. The flashlight feature is also important in the event of an emergency or for personal safety. 
  • Don't forget to charge your phone or pack a charger in your bag!  

While you’re out: 

  • Have water or other non-alcoholic drinks in between consuming alcohol. Bring an empty water bottle with you to keep filling up!  
  • Stick with your friends and look out for each other: Share your locations using Google Maps or SnapMaps to keep track of one another if you separate.  
  • Don’t share drinks, joints or equipment: Only consume what you bought or brought.  
  • Try and stick to using one substance at a time 

Party Tips & Alternatives: 

It's okay if the party scene isn't for you. You might not be in the mood to drink, use other substances, or be in large crowds. Maybe partying isn't your thing or you're anxious being around so many people. Maybe you're choosing not to use substances or your bank account can't handle another night out. Whatever your reasoning, it's okay to make another choice.  

Fun Alternatives to Going Out: 

  • Opt for a smaller gathering; grab a couple of friends to cook dinner together, have a craft night, or watch PWHL Toronto take on Montreal. 
  • Have an Irish actor-themed movie night and take in the filmography of Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, or Saoirse Ronan.  
  • Drop-in to the Athletic Centre for some rec sports like badminton or basketball.
  • Check out a board game cafe downtown, or get your friends together at home. 
  • Find an event to attend on GryphLife 
  • Make some holiday-themed mocktails, like trying out your own Shamrock Shake 

Safer Substance Use Tips: 

If you choose to drink or use substances, there are things you can do to have a safer time. Please be aware that alcohol can only be consumed in licensed areas on campus. We are a smoke-free campus, this includes cannabis.  

For all substances, make a plan! 

  • Where are you going, and how are you going to get there AND home? 
  • If you're not going home, where are you sleeping? 
  • What substances are you using? Remember, it’s best not to mix! 
  • How much are you using? 
  • At what time do you want to stop? 

Drinking alcohol? Tips for a better tonight & tomorrow: 

  • Eat something before you start drinking 
  • Plan a safe route home: Check out the Late Night Bus Service & Daily Bus Service Routes, write the number to a local cab company on your hand and keep your phone charged so you can call a cab or order an Uber, and/or look up directions. 
  • Download the SafeGryphon app and charge your phone 

While you're out: 

  • Drink water or something non-alcoholic between alcoholic drinks 
  • Stick to the drinks that you have bought or brought. Check out the Drink Spiking 101 Resource for more information about how to intervene if you see someone’s drink being spiked and where to seek support should someone’s drink be spiked. 
  • Drink slowly – Have no more than 2 drinks in any 3 hours 
  • Stick with your group and look out for each other 
  • It’s also okay to not be into drinking or using other substances 

If you’re planning on drinking a lot: 

  • Drink with a friend in a safe place 
  • Stick to one substance at a time 

Safer cannabis use tips: 

  • Don’t hold your breath! 
  • If you’re smoking, use joints over water bongs 
  • Look for higher CBD to THC ratios 
  • Take it slow! See how a little bit affects you before using more 

Consent Reminders: 

Understanding consent and respecting each other’s boundaries is essential at all times. Consent requires communication & checking in to ensure that everyone is comfortable & safe. 

Consent is always I'M SAFE

INFORMED: There needs to be a clear and honest understanding of what someone is consenting to. 
MOMENT-TO-MOMENT: Consent is an ongoing process. People can change their minds, want to stop and withdraw consent anytime. 
SPECIFIC: To a certain act and at any given time. Just because someone gave consent before, doesn't mean they consent now. 
AWAKE AND AWARE: Consent cannot be given if someone is unconscious, asleep, excessively intoxicated, or incapacitated. 
FREELY GIVEN: Consent cannot be given if you have power or control over another person or if you turn someone’s “no” into a “yes” through guilt, manipulation or pressure. 
ENTHUSIASTIC: This means it’s clear, active, engaged, ongoing and unmistakable. 

Need support? We're here for you! 

If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual or gender-based violence, you can connect with our Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Coordinator at 519-824-4120 X53020 or email 

*seeking support and/or disclosing does not require you to report. You get to choose whatever support options are best for you! 

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Support Coordinator at the University of Guelph: / 519-824- 4120 x53020 / M-F 8:30am-4:30pm 

Guelph-Wellington Women In Crisis: 1-800-265-7233 (24-hour crisis line for all genders) 

Guelph General Hospital Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Care Centre: 8:30am to 4:30pm 519-837-6440 x2728 / After business hours: x 2210