So often when you hear the word “binge” on a college campus it has negative connotations, but this week we are encouraging students to take part in Binge Thinking.
This exercise is part of what we call “Living Our Values” week. There is a Living Our Values website, which says in part “Living Our Values is a weeklong celebration of individuality at Wake Forest, and how our collective values define the identity of both our school and community. In the classroom, on the field and in social situations, the way we carry ourselves speaks volumes. As a University, it is our priority to maintain a vibrant and safe campus community for all students that emphasizes inclusion, understanding and common sense.”
What you are seeing in the picture is the rotunda of the Benson University Center. The words BINGE THINKING are spelled out in red solo cups, the unofficial cup of college parties and tailgates everywhere.
As the web site notes: “Alcohol-related incidents are a very real threat on many of our nation’s college campuses, and one that Wake Forest takes very seriously. Amidst a sea of messages encouraging sobriety and abstinence, the reality is that the students who want to drink are going to find ways to do so. Living Our Values is about self-respect, awareness and honoring the futures these students are working so hard to build.
In the spirit of Living Our Values, we have introduced Binge Thinking this year as a means of providing an interactive forum where students can express their individual values. By writing what they stand for on the ubiquitous red party cup and placing it alongside those of their classmates, students are celebrating what they stand for, and the idea that values are thicker than alcohol.”
So – have your students seen the Binge Thinking installation? Have they put a message on one of the red solo cups? As you speak to them this week, encourage them to give a thought to their personal values. Who they are, what they believe in, which behaviors will help shape and form them as they move into adulthood. Encourage your students to be intentional about their choices and actions. Think actions through before taking them, and make sure their actions are consistent with their values and who they want to be (and of course, safety).
Urge them to think, too, about what kinds of values they hope the campus as a whole should share. Wake Forest is a living, breathing entity full of 5,000ish students, faculty, and staff who are here every day. Wake Forest people form the spirit of this place. As the Living Our Values website says, “our collective values define the identity of both our school and community.” Do your students think we are we the best we can be? What role can they play in making us even better?
Food for thought, folks.