Positive Impact has a bit of work to stay positive

No football game is complete without those ever-noticeable students in bright yellow jackets, directing traffic and patrolling the tailgating area before games.

Those students volunteer at CSU football games as a part of Positive Impact, a program run by the Associated Students of CSU to ensure that students are having fun, but being safe at home games.

“The program is educating students about safety and responsibility with tailgating in home football games,” said Audrey Purdue, ASCSU Director of Health. “We want to establish good relationships between students, Hughes attendees and both the Fort Collins and CSU police departments for game days to make sure everyone is having fun, but also following rules and being responsible.”

When the program first started in 1991, it was run by a Coors grant to encourage responsible behavior. But ASCSU took over the program in 2003 after a CSU student died of alcohol poisoning at a home football game, Purdue said.

Recently, the student government official completed a summary about her overview and recommendations for the program in coming years.

“The program has not been consistent with documentation to evaluate if the program needed to be continued,” Purdue said. “If continued, it can set the next person up for success and they won’t need to start from ground zero.”

Tessa Polando, a sophomore journalism student, said she enjoyed her experience as a Positive Impact volunteer when she participated in the program with her sorority last semester.

“It was a lot of fun,” Polando said. “It was great to go to the game and be volunteering. It was nice to go to an event, but also make a difference. I think it was beneficial and I would love to participate in the future.”

In the summary, Purdue determined that Positive Impact was in fact valuable to the community. However, there were some recommendations that she had to improve the program.

According to Purdue, she would recommend that the program be more efficient in training and hiring people who are able to recognize the symptoms of alcohol poisoning. As of now, Positive Impact will have a training session in September with the student organization’s officers, who are then responsible for telling their volunteers what to do.

“Training officers have to relay information to the organizations, so participants don’t feel as if they get all of the information,” Purdue said.

“One of our jobs is to identify students who are extremely intoxicated and dangerous to themselves or others. Students aren’t ticketed if they go to the detox tent [at the games] and follow up with conduct, but we need people to be comfortable with identifying and talking about it,” Purdue added.

For the coming year, Purdue endorses continuing the program as long as the next director makes the recommended improvements. As of now, Purdue is working with having conversations with their stakeholders, the CSU Police Department, the athletic department, and other on-campus organizations to determine what attributes they want to continue with for Positive Impact.

Collegian Writer Taylor Pettaway can be reached at news@collegian.com.