Published: Aug. 31, 2022

Being a Buff means being part of the CU Boulder community. Being part of this community means that we have the ability to look out for one another. Whether it’s situations on campus or when going out, using the buddy system is one way to have each other’s back.

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

Pearl Street Mall at nightEstablish a buddy system

If you choose to go out with friends, it’s beneficial to have a conversation beforehand to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Making a commitment to stick together and check in with each other throughout the night is a helpful place to start. This can decrease the chance that someone will have to rely on an acquaintance or stranger to get home and lower the risk of something bad happening.

Here are a few more things to go over with your friends:

  • 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 when possible.
  • 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. Never leave someone behind with people they just met or don’t know very well, especially when they’ve been drinking.

If things don’t go as planned...

Reflect on what didn’t go well, and take time to talk about what happened and what might help for the future. Approach with kindness 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 and supportive at the same time.

Follow up

If things are resolved quickly, share your appreciation and gratitude for having had the conversation. Having just one conversation may not always resolve the situation as quickly as we’d like. You 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.

Learn more about how to help your fellow Buffs.