Podcast Resources / 02.20.2020

Real Talk With Susan & Kristina: Spring Break – Avoid the Hangover of Regret

Spring Break is right around the corner. But while you may be on vacation, Title IX won’t be. In the debut episode of Real Talk, KJK Student & Athlete Defense attorneys Susan Stone and Kristina Supler discuss Spring Break and share alarming statistics and tips related to consent, drinking and general safety to avoid the “hangover of regret.”

Susan Stone:

Hi there. It’s Real Talk with Susan Stone and Kristina Supler. This is Susan Stone speaking and Kristina is here, and we’re going to talk about something fun. We’re going to talk about spring break, because we know that it’s February and we’re starting to think about spring and we know everybody’s planning on going somewhere fun like Florida or Mexico, right Kristina? Kristina’s laughing guys. If you should see a look, and it probably is when she went to Boston University. Kristina, what did you do for spring break?

Kristina Supler:

I came home to Ohio.

Susan Stone:

Sure, so boring. Okay guys, but really seriously, we’re here because we represent students all across the country. While spring break is fun and we know that everybody’s going to be in their bathing suit and there’s going to be a lot of drinking, we want to make sure that it stays fun. It doesn’t turn into a nightmare when you get back on campus. So Kristina, why don’t you talk about some of the dangers.

Kristina Supler:

So, one thing we know for sure when talking about spring break, kidding aside, there’s going to be lots of drinking. We’re certainly not trying to be the fun police. We want students to go away, have fun, relax with friends, but it’s really important to not minimize the dangers of mixing alcohol and sex.

Susan Stone:

So a really interesting statistic is that 75% of college guys and 44% of college girls get drunk on a daily basis at spring break. That’s from the United States National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Now, I don’t know about you, based on that statistic, do you think every college kid is considered an alcoholic on spring break?

Kristina Supler:

Sure seems that way. There’s actually even more research from the American College of Health that says on average on spring break males are going to drink upwards of 18 alcoholic drinks a day and girls are going to have over 10 a day. That’s a lot of alcohol.

Susan Stone:

With that statistic, aren’t we the statistic police today, 32% of spring breakers admitted to regretting a sexual encounter while on spring break and a half of spring breakers use no protection during intercourse while on spring break. So guys, if you’re going to have some love, put on a glove, okay? Be safe when you’re on spring break. We’ve got to be careful.

Susan Stone:

But let’s talk about other pitfalls. That’s a bad pun too, I didn’t mean that. We’re being a little silly here to break up what’s really serious. What are some of the things they should worry about on spring break? Other than guys and women, use protection please.

Kristina Supler:

So, it’s really important while you’re drinking, and having fun, and engaging in some sort of sexual activity, keep your phone out of it. So often we see situations where students are hooking up the first time and they bring the phone in the bedroom, they’re taking photos, video sharing. We always say, don’t kiss and post.

Susan Stone:

Why? Tell them why this is really important.

Kristina Supler:

It’s a recipe for hurt feelings and a report to a Title IX office. Sharing photos online, it just begs opinions from others. Some opinions may be welcomed, but probably most won’t be. And then also, just thinking from the perspective of the student who’s nude photo or video was posted online, at the end of the day when hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people are looking at that content, that student who did something stupid while drunk is not going to feel so good a day or a week later.

Susan Stone:

There are some emerging laws out there that are actually making taking of photographs, even of people over the 18, without expressed permission a criminal act too. You should be very careful that not only of the state you’re vacationing in, but the state you come from could be implicated.

Susan Stone:

But you know what, let’s talk about Title IX. Why is Title IX even applicable if you’re on spring break and you’re not at school?

Kristina Supler:

Sometimes students are inclined to think that, “Well, it’s spring break, school’s not in session. I’m down in Florida, I’m in Mexico, wherever, school rules don’t apply.” But in fact that is not at all the case. Whether you’re on campus or elsewhere, under current Title IX regulations, the school, if a student files a complaint or someone else, third party files a complaint with the college or university, the school is in fact obligated to start their Title IX process.

Susan Stone:

Typically, students go down to spring break with classmates or teammates. So, you don’t want a situation when you get back to school someone files a Title IX action and says, “I don’t want to be in the same class, or on the same team, or in the same fraternity, or in the same sorority, or in the same social circle as that person who I believe committed sexual assault against me,” and the school will feel obligated to issue no contact orders and investigate and perhaps even discipline something that happened in Florida. It just didn’t stay in Florida.

Kristina Supler:

Regardless of where you’re at in the semester … Also, I think sometimes students might think, “Well, I’m more than halfway through the semester. I’m not going to get thrown out of school. I’m not going to lose all this work. I’m not going to be pulled out of this class just because the other student involved is in the same class,” and it’s absolutely incorrect. It happens all the time, where mid-semester the student’s whole life can be turned upside down upon the filing of a Title IX complaint.

Susan Stone:

We also know that a lot of students hookup through dating apps, especially on spring break. Be careful. Look, having a sex partner shouldn’t be like ordering a pizza. You don’t know who you’re meeting, you don’t know what issues they bring with them and you don’t know what you later could be accused of, whether it is true or false. Beware of strangers. You’ve been told that, students out there, since you were two years old.

Kristina Supler:

Some other just general safety tips that although basic, really warrant being repeated here. We always like to tell students, when you’re away on spring break don’t venture out alone. You should never go anywhere by yourself. Make sure you always have a friend or a couple of friends with you.

Susan Stone:

If you see that one of your friends is really, really, really drunk and they’re with somebody, somebody from your own school, even if you know the person that they’re with and you think that person is a really good person, if they’re really drunk and they’re stumbling and they’re not speaking clearly, make them go back to their room, throw them in their bed and hopefully they can get up in the morning and take two Tylenol. But in the end, not have the regret of having sex without the ability to give some real consent.

Kristina Supler:

And the final, well, I would say there’s two more tips. Just always be aware of your surroundings. Know where you’re at, who you’re with, stay vigilant. And then also, this might sound basic, but it’s really important, mixing alcohol and swimming, whether you’re in the pool or an ocean, is quite dangerous.

Susan Stone:

Same with getting dehydrated. It’s really important to stay hydrated and especially if you’re drinking. I’m sure that’s something that everybody takes for granted, but in the hot weather it’s really easy to lose track of, “How much am I drinking? I have this beer, this White Claw, this margarita.” But it’s very important to try to alternate. Guys, if you’re under age … Do I sound like a mother?

Kristina Supler:

You do.

Susan Stone:

I don’t want to say that, but don’t drink. It’s not worth it. You don’t want to get picked up and get arrested by police, especially far from your school, far from your family. That is no bueno.

Kristina Supler:

And actually most schools … So, Susan and I are in Ohio. Ohio has a statute called the Campus Disruption Act, and most states have some variation of this statute where an essence of a student is charged with a crime. The school has to hold a hearing to determine whether it’s even safe to have you on campus. So just don’t risk it.

Susan Stone:

Parents, we know that it’s always nerve wracking when you’re sending your college students off to college and spring break is even more nerve wracking, but it’s okay. Be a broken record and don’t take the blame. Blame us on Real Talk.

Kristina Supler:

Thanks for joining us.

Susan Stone:

Thanks.