Speaker presents ‘Drink Think’

Kellie Galentine
Online Editor

Rick Barnes introduced himself to an audience of more than 200 students at “Drink Think” Monday by mentioning that he spoke at La Verne three years ago.

“Apparently we are still drinking,” Barnes said, as the audience erupted in laughter. “My message on alcohol is very simple – if you want to drink, drink. I would ask you to do this: slow down a little bit.”

Barnes, a Campuspeak presenter with a southern drawl, paced the stage in Morgan Auditorium as he presented to the audience made up of primarily Greek life students.

The program was sponsored by the Associated Students of the University of La Verne, InterFraternity Council and the College Panhellenic Association.

The effects that alcohol has on a person’s body including numbed brain cells, slurred speech, slower reaction times, lack of coordination, and overall more erratic behavior were among the topics discussed. Barnes also walked students through the five stages that the body goes through while a person is consuming alcohol—the fifth was death.

Barnes also mentioned his background as a higher education administrator for more than 16 years, and described his first hand experience going to the emergency room with students.

He also raised the question of whether students would take alcohol poisoning as seriously as a friend getting food poisoning. His advice was to take friends in danger of alcohol poisoning to the hospital.

Barnes, however, shared best practices for aiding a very drunken person at the end of the night. Placing a backpack filled with heavy books on a drunk person that is sleeping and laying them on their side with their knees tucked to their chest was Barnes’ solution to prevent death by asphyxiation.

“I think the benefit is that his presentation was different. He didn’t tell us not to drink, but told us to be responsible,” Guadalupe Espinoza, sophomore psychology major said.

Barnes had students laughing throughout the entire presentation by making several jokes related to gender. The relatable anecdotes brought the message home as the presentation ended with “why did you choose to go to college?”

Barnes asked students to consider their reasons for being at an institution of higher education the next time they choose to go drinking instead of studying.

“With spring break next week we hope that events like our alcohol education speaker is able to encourage students to stay safe and make better choices,” Barbara Mulligan, director of student life, said. Barnes’ message was not to stop drinking, but in the words of the alcohol industry itself, he left the audience with, “If you drink, drink responsibly.”

Kellie Galentine can be reached at kellie.galentine@laverne.edu or on Twitter @kellie_gal.

Latest Stories

Related articles

First generation college students overcome unique obstacles

As a first-generation college student and an only child, my decision to go to college was not just for myself but also for my family. 

Flo Rida rocks the Fox Theater for annual Lavernapalooza

As another stressful spring semester draws to a close, students went wild at the annual Lavernapalooza concert with headliner artist Flo Rida, DJ Screwloose, openers Kid Ink and Oya Baby on May 2 at the Fox Theater in Pomona.

New pub at Barbara’s Place pours up local breweries

Barbara’s Place, in the Abraham Campus Center, has opened a pub for students and faculty who are 21 and older to enjoy beer and hard cider from local breweries and cider houses.

Three-year calendar proposal would streamline planning

The University of La Verne is in the process of adopting a new three-year calendar plan that administrators hope streamline planning and help the school run more efficiently.