GORDIEstore products save lives at the University of North Carolina Charlotte
On a Wednesday night in the fall of 2019, two University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) students were in their residence hall bathroom. One student was very sick after a night of drinking, while the other was trying to help his sick friend— holding him up, talking with him, and staying with him.
They had been in the bathroom for 20 minutes when a sticker on the bathroom mirror caught the eye of the helpful friend. It was a GORDIEcling, displaying the PUBS signs of alcohol overdose. The student read the sticker, and immediately recognized that his friend was displaying a few PUBS signs— not only was he puking, but his breathing was shallow and he was in and out of responsiveness. Alarmed, the friend pulled out his phone and called for help.
EMS arrived and transported the student to the hospital, saving his life. The transport report read, “[friend] read the PUBS sticker on the bathroom mirror, identified the symptoms and called for Police and EMS.”
Adam Nichols, Assistant Director for Residence Education at UNCC, was gratified to know his office’s initiatives were having a positive, lifesaving impact on UNCC students.
“We love the PUBS mirror cling!” Adam says. “We have placed them on mirrors in every one of our public bathrooms,” reaching the 5,800 UNCC students who live in campus residence halls. To make the products more recognizable to students and integrate with other UNCC safety initiatives, the Gordie Center created customized clings and GORDIEcheck BAC cards with the UNCC logo.
Beau Dooley, the Director of UNCC’s Center for Wellness Promotion says, “The Gordie Center produces high-quality alcohol and hazing education materials that can serve as a stand-alone campaign or dovetail into existing campus alcohol and hazing prevention efforts. We screen the HAZE film and follow it with a facilitated discussion on substance misuse and hazing. We also distribute large quantities of GORDIEcheck BAC cards during alcohol education programs and events."
Elizabeth Hinson, UNCC’s Assistant Director for Assignments in Housing and Residence Life, was a graduate student intern at the Gordie Center while earning a Master’s Degree in Higher Education at the University of Virginia. “Three years after my time with the Gordie Center, I still reference the experiences I had and the knowledge I gained while working there,” Elizabeth says. “Because of products like PUBS mirror clings, I can confidently share with parents that we are a community that truly cares for one another and is willing to step up to look out for one another.”
Enrollment at UNCC now exceeds 30,000 students, and the staff is constantly looking for novel and engaging ways to reach so many students. Gordie Center products are a large part of that effort. Adam reiterates: “These products are created to help students save the lives of themselves and their friends. They present valuable information in a creative and eye-catching way that is hard to miss. The information is easy to digest and our students have heeded the warnings and called to get their friends medical assistance after alcohol overdoses.”
Adam encourages other schools to use Gordie Center products because “this information and this organization will help save your students’ lives!"