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Safe and Fun Oktoberfest

A page within Student Life

Eagles are active bystanders.

OkSOBERfest Content

Responsible Action Policy

At the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, the Responsible Action Policy encourages students to call for emergency medical assistance that results from alcohol consumption. If an underage person is intoxicated from alcohol use and calls 911 because a friend has passed out and is unresponsive after drinking too much, the caller will not get an underage drinking ticket if that person stays with the impaired individual, cooperates with responders, and follows through with programs deemed necessary by the Dean of Students office.

What is Bystander Intervention?

Bystander Intervention is recognizing a potentially harmful situation or interaction and choosing to respond in a way that could positively influence the outcome.

Everyone Can Help!

There are five steps to help to prevent a problematic or potentially problematic situation:

  1. Notice the Event:
  2. Interpret It has a Problem
  3. Assume Personal Responsibility
  4. Know How To Help
  5. Implement the Help
Recongize the Signs of Alcohol Overdose

f you suspect that someone has an alcohol overdose, call 911 IMMEDIATELY and STAY with the them until paramedics arrive. DO NOT wait until they are unconscious, before seeking help. They cannot safely "sleep off" the effects of drinking too much alcohol.

Signs of alcohol overdose include:

  • Mental confusion
  • Difficulty remaining conscious, or inability to wake up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing 
  • Irregular breathing 
  • Slow heart rate
  • Clammy skin
  • Dulled responses, such as no gag reflex (which prevents choking)
  • Extremely low body temperature, bluish skin color, or paleness

Call for help if you or a friend need medical attention.

In order to encourage students to call for help if someone may be in danger from alcohol or drug use, the Responsible Action Policy protects the caller from Police citation and/or university discipline for alcohol-related offenses. Learn more on the Responsible Action Policy page.

Strategies for SAFER drinking:

Safer drinking strategies can lower the harm you may experience as a result of drinking alcohol. It is important to note that scientists have determined that there is no amount of alcohol that is safe to consume, but these strategies can help reduce the risk of experiencing harm.

These strategies include: 

  • Practice saying "no" when offered a drink that you don't want to consume
  • Know your limit - the amount of alcohol that you can drink and remain comfortable and in control
  • Keep track of and pace your drinks (remember, a standard drink is one 12-oz beer, 4-5oz of wine, or 1-1.5oz of hard liquor)
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with water
  • Eat before and during drinking
  • Never drink and drive
  • Know what's in your drink, and always pour your own drink
  • Know your family history and your risk for alcohol use disorder
  • Drink in moderation (fewer than 3 drinks per day/7 drinks per week)
  • Do not combine alcohol and other drugs
  • Never force anyone else to drink
  • Sign up for a free BASICS appointment to discuss your alcohol use in a private session with the Coordinator of Student Wellness
What is a Standard Drink?

It is important to know how much alcohol your drink contains. In the United States, one "standard" drink (or one alcoholic drink equivalent) contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol
  • 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor (gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whiskey, etc.)

Even though they come in different sizes, the drinks below are examples of ONE STANDARD DRINK. 

Learn more about standard drink sizes.

Standard drink Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Wisconsin State Statute

Per Wisconsin Statute 125.07(4) the consumption of alcohol is restricted to individuals who are 21 years of age or older.

This is strictly enforced by the University Police and the La Crosse Police Departments. Sanctions are applied from UWL Residence Life and/or Student Life if students are found to have violated drug policies and/or laws. Information about fines can be found in the Student Handbook within "Policies and Procedures - Alcohol Policies and Fines."

UWL Police Department

The University Police Department works to strictly enforce the drinking age of 21 years of age or older. For more information, please see the Student Handbook within "Policies and Procedures - Alcohol Policies and Fines." For an example of an underage drinking citation, please click here: Example_Underage Citation.pdf. 

UWL PD would like to provide a reminder that driving while intoxicated can lead to coordination loss, impaired judgment, and distorted vision. The average cost of an OWI is $10,000. There are 300,000 incidents involving drinking and driving every day. Students have several transportation options available to them, such as: MTU Safe Ride (free), Uber, Lyft, Saferide (ask any bartender for details), and taxi cabs. 

If you encounter the police, please be sure to fully cooperate. The UWL PD is here to support your health and safety and can help you learn from your experiences if you cooperate.

Residence Life

The following activities are not permitted:

Under 21 years of age:

a)    Possessing and/or consuming alcoholic beverages

  • State law prohibits the possession or consumption of alcohol by persons under the age of 21.

b)    Possessing or displaying empty alcohol containers

  • Residents are not allowed to have empty alcohol containers, defined as: cans, bottles, caps, boxes used for transportation, or items with alcohol residue.

Due to the Oktoberfest festivities in the city of La Crosse, UWL Residence Life will implement some measures to ensure a safe environment for our residence hall students. The full list of adjustments made during Oktoberfest can be found here. Please note, guests are not allowed in the Residence Halls during Oktoberfest weekend.

Emergency Resources

If you need any assistance during Oktoberfest outside of regular business hours, please contact the following resources.

UWL Police Department

Emergency: 608-789-9999

Non-Emergency 608-789-9000

You can also contact the UWL Police Department by calling 911.

La Crosse City Police

Call 911 to be connected to city police or campus police depending on your location.

Residence Life

Contact your Resident Assistant and/or professional staff for assistance within the residence halls.

Alcohol-Free Events

Thursday, September 28

  • Transform Weekly Meeting from 6 to 7 p.m., Student Union 3130
  • CRU Weekly Meeting from 8 to 9 p.m., Graff Main Hall 260

Friday, September 29


  • Full Moon Hike with Outdoor Connection from 7 to 10 p.m., Recreational Eagle Center
  • Album Encounter Light Show from 8 to 9 p.m., 20 Cowley Hall (Planetarium)
  • Operation River Watch from 7 to 3 a.m., sign up on UGetConnected or email 

Saturday, September 30

  • Dale Wedig COPPER Exhibition 100 Lowe Center for the Arts
  • Guided Forest Bathing Walk Grand Opening from 9 a.m. to noon, Hixon Forest
  • Men and Women's Swimming and Diving Meet at 9 a.m., Mitchell Hall
  • Football Game vs. UW-Stout at 2 p.m., Roger Harring Stadium
  • Operation River Watch from 7 to 3 a.m., sign up on UGetConnected or email 

Explore the campus calendar!

Safe Ride

The Safe Ride bus offers a safe ride between downtown and campus on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 10:30pm - 3:00am. The Safe Ride bus circulates through the route every 15 minutes! UWL Students, friends, and the general public ride free on the Safe Ride bus.

Learn about the MTU Mobile App.

RAVE Alerts

We also encourage you to sign up for RAVE alerts through the UWL PD to receive timely warnings about crimes that may pose a threat to the safety of students and staff. Sign up for RAVE here.