Senior strategic communication major Kathryn Slaughter went out with two friends to celebrate one of them turning 21. Her friends made it their goal of the night to take 21 shots in one hour, causing the night to take a catastrophic turn.
One of her friends began shivering and vomiting, so Slaughter took her to her boyfriend’s house. When she returned home, she discovered her other friend lying face down on the bathroom floor, choking on her own vomit. Slaughter rushed her friend to the ER and watched as she got her stomach pumped and was hooked up to an IV.
This story was one of many shared by the VITALS campaign members at their official launch party Thursday night. The stories brought a sense of reality to the consequences of high-risk drinking, emphasizing the importance of understanding VITALS.
VITALS is a campaign put on by Schieffer School of Journalism students that is working to raise awareness about the signs of alcohol poisoning. The campaign advertises the acronym VITALS, which stands for vomiting, incoherent, temperature, absence of color, low breathing and seizures — the physical signs of alcohol poisoning. The official launch took place Thursday in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium.
“For our very first launch, I think it turned out really well,” Slaughter, a member of the VITALS team, said. “It created a great buzz, and a lot of people came — a lot of professors, TCU students, as well as people from the local community.”
The event lasted from 4-6 p.m. and included a number of guests. Two TCU Police officers had a station set up in the lobby to educate students about alcohol and various drugs. Representatives from the TCU Alcohol and Drug Education Center also attended to show their support for the campaign.
The entertainment for the night consisted of live musical performances by the South Moudy Blues and The Charlie Shafter Band. The South Moudy Blues, made up of TCU professors, rocked its first live performance by playing a “semi-original” song written especially for the night to the tune of “Bad to the Bone.”
The event succeeded in receiving recognition in the local community. Fox News interviewed the campaign team the morning of the launch, and the Texas Young Lawyers Association also contacted the team to see how the legal group could collaborate with the campaign in the future.
The VITALS campaign will continue to be a presence on campus all year. The campaign may be wrapping up in May, but the efforts of the VITALS team would continue.
Journalism Associate Professor Amiso George, supervisor of the VITALS team, said, “We want students to learn about their VITALS. We want our students to be able to save the life of someone else and to recognize the symptoms of alcohol poisoning and be able get help.”