Some unofficial advice for Unofficial

A police officer talks to an individual on Fourth and Daniel, on Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, Mar. 7, 2014.

Tomorrow the U of I masses,

Will raise their green brew-filled glasses,

But before your drink,

Be safe and think,

And don’t forget your classes!

The emerald ecstasy of Unofficial is upon us. Tomorrow, as every year, revelers spanning the full spectrum of insobriety will take to the streets, the bars, the apartments and the frats of campus to celebrate drinking for the sake of drinking. Whether they start with shots at midnight, or green eggs and kegs at the crack of dawn, there will be no shortage of sloshed celebrators. However, that doesn’t mean safety or sensibility should fall by the wayside while students imbibe their spiked shamrock shakes. For those who choose to drink tomorrow, keep the following advice in mind for a safe and happy Unofficial.

Sensible Drinking: Unofficial should not be a race to see who will start seeing hallucinations of leprechauns first. Remember to pace yourself while drinking, stay hydrated, eat before you drink and give yourself breaks between each glass, bottle, keg stand, etc.

Safe Drinking: If your friend starts turning green or is otherwise heavily intoxicated, call for help. The University, Champaign and Urbana police all follow informal medical amnesty policies that provide protection for individuals who alert authorities about individuals in need of medical attention. Under these policies, you will generally not be disciplined even if you are in an altered state when you call authorities to alert them of the condition of another.

Weather: Trudging through slush is no easy task when you’re sloshed. While the sun is expected to be out on Friday, according to the National Weather Service, temperatures will still be below freezing all day. As such, tread carefully and don’t forget to dress warmly, no matter how hot that Fireball leaves you feeling.

Guests: Year after year, non-University guests cause a sizable amount of malarkey on Unofficial. Such individuals generally have minimal investment in this campus and its well-being, and thus have little incentive to not be overly reckless during their short time here. In years past, out-of-town visitors have made up a sizable fraction of all the tickets given out, and the University also maintains restrictive guest policies over Unofficial weekend. As such, consider keeping Unofficial a University-only affair by not inviting guests — or, at the very least, keep your guests in check.

Classes: Don’t forget that you, or your parents, or someone else, pay money for you to go here and learn. As much of a buzz kill as it may be to go to class on Unofficial, keep in mind that we’re students first and partygoers second.

Unofficial, whether you drink or not, is a great opportunity to blow off some mid-semester steam. Just remember to be safe and sensible and preserve the pot of gold for all of us.