It’s no secret that Ohio University students love to party. Most college students are known for crazy, often drunkenly inspired antics, but OU seems to be at the top of the list for some people and publications (ah ahem Playboy) when it comes to wild nights at houses and bars.
While it’s true that many Bobcats love their booze and high times, it isn’t the case for everyone. Whether it’s for health, religious or other personal reasons, a lot of students like to remain sober. There are also students who may like to partake in substance inclusive activities but don’t want to do so every weekend (or weeknight, for that matter).
For students who don’t know where to go to have fun without the presence of these substances, they might feel burdened to stay home, or even to use substances just because they are bored or feel pressured.
Luckily there are student-ran organizations that are making sober options available. From movie nights to scavenger hunts, students are working to provide safe and substance-free activities for anyone to enjoy.
Sober Bobcats is one such organization on campus. According to an article in The Post, the group was founded last fall semester with a grant from the national organization Transforming Youth Recovery.
The organization is an extension of the Ohio University Collegiate Recovery Community, otherwise known as RISE (“Recovery to inspire, share and power”). While RISE acts as a group for students in recovery, Sober Bobcats works to provide a community for students who don’t need recovery support but have decided to live substance-free lives.
On Sober Bobcat’s website, it is stated that the group aims to support students who:
- “Want to have fun and socially engage with other students on campus without the use of alcohol and other drugs.”
- “May have previously encountered negative experiences under the influence and choose to abstain from using alcohol and other drugs.”
- “May have a family history of alcohol or drug abuse and seek support in their personal decision of sobriety.”
The group hosts a plethora of events in which students can participate. A schedule of events is provided on the group’s website.
“Most of our meetings and events are done on weekends, that way people who don’t enjoy the party scene have things to do and people to hang out with,” said Adrian Blake, the public relations executive of Sober Bobcats, in an email.
Although Sober Bobcats hasn’t been able to pin down an exact number of active members yet this year, Blake said that the group appears to have somewhere between 20 and 30 people. Its email list, which sends out updates about events and meetings, consists of between 200 and 250 people. Events often have people in attendance who aren’t necessarily active members but want to participate in the substance-free activities.
Blake clarified that students don’t have to live completely substance-free lives in order to join the group and attend events. “Members are perfectly allowed to do those things if they want to, so long as they come to our meetings and events sober,” Blake said.
Activities that the group hosts include but are not limited to nights spent bowling, watching movies and playing games. The events are welcome to both active members included on the email list as well as those who aren’t members but have heard about Sober Bobcats’ events through the grape vine.
Sober Bobcats isn’t the only group trying to provide substance-free activities for students. A new student-ran Instagram account called OHIO Late Nights (or its Instagram handle, ohiolatenights), has begun providing substance-free activities for students as well.
According to its Instagram account, Ohio Late Nights meets every Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Living Learning Center at Ohio University, which is one of campus’ new buildings centered in between and connected to the new dorms – Sowle, Luchs, Tanaka and Carr halls – on South Green.
The program offers free food, prizes and activities such as board games, video games, scavenger hunts and movies to watch. Ohio Late Nights encourages its followers and participators to tag them in any Instagram posts and to use their hashtag, #ohiolatenights.
Sober Bobcats and Ohio Late Nights are completely separate programs and are not run by the same people, however Blake said that Sober Bobcats is trying to collaborate an event to host with Ohio Late Nights sometime in the future.
Ohio Late Nights will be meeting at its regular time each Saturday. Sober Bobcats is hosting a game night tonight, Sept. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. in in Morton 115 and a bowling night at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 28 at Rollerbowl Lanes. The group’s next full body meeting is on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in Ellis 028.