Published: Feb. 24, 2021

Being a Buff means being part of the CU Boulder community. Being part of this community means people want to look out for one another. Whether it’s situations on campus, in the classroom, in the residence halls or when going out, using the buddy system is one way to have each other’s backs. 

Here are a few tips to help you look out for your fellow Buffs this semester.

students on campusEstablish a buddy system

If you choose to go out with friends, have a conversation beforehand to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

  • Make a commitment to stick together and check in with each other throughout the night. This can decrease the chance that someone will have to rely on a less-known friend or stranger to get home and lower the risk of something bad happening.
  • If you plan to drink, make sure it’s with people who will take care of you even if you drink too much. 
  • Make sure you all have each other's phone numbers.
  • Share locations with each other on an app.
  • Create a code word, sign or text emoji that means "Get me out of this situation!"
  • Agree to discourage each other from doing something embarrassing or dangerous.
  • Agree on a way to communicate and regroup if people get separated.
  • Check in with your friends if the plan you all made for the night needs to change or is falling apart.
  • Make sure everyone gets home safely.

If things don’t go as planned...

Reflect on what went wrong and take time to talk about what happened and what might help for the future. Approach people with empathy to talk about why the plan was important in the first place. Avoid coming across as judgmental or demanding. Sometimes these conversations can be challenging, but it’s possible to be direct yet supportive at the same time.

Follow up

If things are resolved quickly, share your appreciation and gratitude for having had the conversation. One conversation doesn’t always resolve the way we’d like, and sometimes we may need to revisit the issues and be willing to keep trying. If things feel like they’re unresolved, let your friends know you appreciate their time and you’d like to follow up with them in the future. It can help to have some space before engaging again. 

Even when we make a plan, we can’t always anticipate when something might go wrong. If something bad did happen, focus the follow-up conversation on offering support and avoid blaming people or dwelling on what “should” have happened. Offering a supportive response is one more way we can look out for and take care of each other. 

Protect Our Herd

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, it is important now more than ever to follow public health guidelines. If you choose to socialize with others outside of your household, continue to protect yourself and each other by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet apart and washing your hands often. 

As you make plans, review the current COVID-19 dial level on the Protect Our Herd website to learn more about current health and safety guidelines and what that means for your campus experience. 

Learn more about how to help your fellow Buffs.