Safe partying on campus

HAVIN’ A BLAST: The Red Frogs keeping campus parties fun and safe for all. Photo: Ilanit Chernick

HAVIN’ A BLAST: The Red Frogs keeping campus parties fun and safe for all.
Photo: Ilanit Chernick

Free pancakes, free water, coffee and a chill area were some of the things drunk students had to help sober up during O-week, courtesy of the “Red Frogs”.

The Red Frogs are a student organisation that aims to be a “positive presence” at Wits by providing support, such as food, to students who have been drinking on campus.

Their role on campus, especially during parties, is to build a safe and healthy relationship with party-goers.

“Our desire is to change partying culture from one of damage to young people to one of safety and genuine fun,” said Gauteng co-ordinator and Wits alumni Mick Channon.

Channon told Wits Vuvuzela that this year during O-Week they were “lucky enough” not to face any serious medical issues or problems during the campus parties.

“There was the usual dealings with crowds and many drunk people but that’s our bread and butter. We love to help people when they need it!”

“We’re also in constant contact with security and the paramedics to ensure the party is running safely and smoothly,” Channon said.

“Our desire is to change partying culture from one of damage to young people to one of safety and genuine fun,”

Volunteers are trained to give a “reasonable amount of care” at parties but they are never asked to assist anyone medically. They have to be 18 or over to join.

Safety for volunteers is also a major priority for the Red Frogs, so they are trained to be aware of situations which “may endanger them”.

According to Channon most volunteers are either Wits students or alumni. But they aren’t just working on Wits campus, they have also branched out to work at music festivals like Oppi Koppi and Rocking with the Daisies.

This year the Red Frogs will begin to host a number of social evenings on both Wits and University of Johannesburg campus residences to connect with the students and build awareness around responsible partying.

“We’ll off er free pancakes, board games and hot chocolate to give students an hour of free, safe fun in the evenings,” he said.