GW cuts back fall RAM trainings

Students required to earn Responsible Alcohol Management certification will have three weeks after classes start to complete the training with the Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education this year.

And for members of the Greek life community, many of whom are required to be RAM-trained, the training sessions will end before recruitment does.

Instead of holding several sessions each week throughout the year, CADE will offer six RAM training sessions starting this week and ending Oct. 3.

Fraternity pledge classes will be solidified Oct. 5, while recruitment for Panhellenic Association groups ends Oct. 9.

Any organization that hosts events with alcohol must ensure that at least one Responsible Alcohol Manager is present for every 20 attendees.

Some fraternities, including Pi Kappa Alpha, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Kappa Alpha Order, require all members to get RAM trained, and sororities, including Chi Omega, Sigma Delta Tau, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, require their members to be trained before attending formals or crush parties.

“Having to wait a semester seems a bit unnecessary and delays crucial education,” Jeffrey Allen, president of Tau Kappa Epsilon, said in an email. “Holding RAM training before fall recruitment doesn’t allow incoming students the necessary time to find out what RAM training is and why it is so important.”

Director of Greek Life Christina Witkowicki said the office was looking to add a few sessions later in October but did not say when they would be or how many would be added.

“Not all of our new members are trained during their first semester of membership anyway. Many of the organizations do wait until the spring semester or the second semester to have them go through training, so I’m not sure it’s going to impact them much at all,” Witkowicki said.

For Kappa Delta – GW’s newest chapter that will hold recruitment from Oct. 25 to Oct. 29 – this means a pledge class with no RAM trained individuals, unless they were previously certified.

The new training schedule is one of several changes to the Responsible Alcohol Management program this fall led by CADE’s associate director, Alexis Janda, who arrived on campus in January.

Janda said she wanted CADE to more efficiently meet the needs of the 600 to 700 students who walk through their doors each semester looking to get trained.

With so many opportunities to get certified, Janda said events would see small – and sometimes nonexistent – turnouts at the sessions.

“It’s a bit of a drain on resources, so we were trying to focus the efforts and get people to attend the sessions that we’re going to have scheduled,” Janda said.

Trainings will now be administered directly by Janda and two graduate students, Chrissy Batterson and Maggie Goddard – a change from previous semesters, when GWise peer educators oversaw sessions.

Organizations that are put on probation for alcohol-related offenses are normally required to RAM train all of their members, which Janda said she would negotiate on a case-by-case basis with the organization and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

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