When one thinks of a college party, water bottles and hydration stations don’t exactly come to mind. University Health Services' (UHS) PartySafe@Cal, a student organization focused on improving party culture by reducing problems related to alcohol, is trying to change that perception with the help of Berkeley’s recent UPP partner, Brita. Together they are working to initiate a positive way for off-campus student organizations to serve more water in the hopes of limiting the focus of alcohol in the social culture at UC Berkeley.
PartySafe@Cal is implementing a multi-pronged approach to remove the stigma around drinking water at social gatherings while simultaneously facilitating ease of water access to party goers. UC Berkeley student, Cierra Reimche, explained that “water isn’t usually served at the bars, and if it is, it’s probably a case of water bottles that runs out pretty quickly.” Solutions to this issue include two phases: hydration station implementation and the deployment of the Hydration Hype Squad, a group of UC Berkeley student volunteers who are passionate about promoting a safer social culture while raising awareness around drinking water at social events.
Brita has provided three UltraMax 18-cup dispensers and two 10-cup pitchers which will provide low cost and long term ways for organizations to have water readily available at events. Brita’s donation will allow PartySafe@Cal to focus efforts on improving water perception and hydration efficiency at off-campus parties.
PartySafe@Cal officially kicked-offtheir initiative this semester with two successful events including the launch of their program at Sigma Pi fraternity. Along with the water dispensers, Brita also provided giveaways such as koozies, cups, pins, and mints, to attendees. At both parties, the Hype Squad educated their peers about PartySafe@Cal’s initiative while also creating a buzz about drinking water throughout the night. Hype Squad member Katie Klein explained that PartySafe@Cal’s initiative is important to her because “[she] personally feel[s] like alcohol related injuries can be greatly reduced by [organizations] having access to drinking water. This program highlights water in a fun and interactive way, and [she] was excited to see how receptive all the party goers were at our first event.”
With their launch being such a success, PartySafe@Cal and Brita would like to continue their program efforts with participation at more off-campus events in the future. “Providing clean and easily accessible water is essential in a safe party environment as an easy and effective harm reduction technique,” said Leona Chen, UHS campaign advisor. “With this project we hope to help increase hydration visibility, perception, and consumption at student events off campus.”