Workshop promotes healthy relationship with alcohol

By Caity Hansen

Self-proclaimed “transformational speaker” Brent Scarpo visited
the Bronco Student Center on Thursday to give a free workshop
entitled “Last Call.”

The goal of “Last Call” was not only to make students question
their relationship with alcohol, but to prevent that relationship
from reaching an out-of-control level.

The program, which ran from 5 to 7 p.m. in Ursa Major, was
composed of mostly dialogue between Scarpo and the audience, as
well as some improvisational skits performed by student
volunteers.

After being introduced as the “bartender for the night” by ASI
Project Assistant Ashley Simmons, Scarpo walked around the audience
and asked students for their drink of choice at parties.

Simmons said that Scarpo had spoken at Cal Poly Pomona before
and would probably be back in the future.

“He’s very dynamic,” said Simmons. “Students were really
engaged.”

After his introduction, Scarpo asked for any students who had
ever been pulled over for driving under the influence or received a
DUI to come forward and tell their stories.

“The most I’ve ever had up on stage when we talked about DUIs
was 17 students,” said Scarpo.

After the large group of students volunteered, one of the most
emotional moments Scarpo experienced in any alcohol awareness
workshop occurred.

Scarpo said an administrator came up on stage and told the room
about her 11 DUIs because she was “tired of living a lie.”

Throughout the workshop and between skits and dialogues, Scarpo
told many stories from other programs and of alcohol-related deaths
on college campuses.

Scarpo told the crowd a statistic from a Harvard study: 1,700
college students die each year in alcohol-related incidents.

He also gave students tips for avoiding bad situations when
drinking and suggestions for the best ways to deal with unavoidable
ones.

Joseph Garcia, a fourth-year sociology student, was an audience
member who shared a part of his drinking history with the
crowd.

Garcia said that Scarpo’s style of delivery made his message
more effective than those of other motivational speakers.

“By the time you get to college, you’ve heard it multiple times
with D.A.R.E.,” said Garcia. “He makes it really engaging.”

D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

According to Dare.com, the program was founded in 1983 and
reaches 36 million children around the world.

Scarpo, though not as well established, has been speaking for 10
years on a wide variety of educational topics.

His presentations often correlate with whatever volunteer
project he was working on at the time.

Some of his other programs include discussions of hate, coming
out, career opportunities in Hollywood and finding passion and
purpose in life.

“You know you have the right job when you say to yourself, ‘I
will do this for free,'” said Scarpo.

Some of the tips Scarpo gave at the event were the same ones
told for years: Use the buddy system, never accept drinks without
seeing them prepared, and always have a designated driver.

One of his suggestions was for students to enter a number in
their cell phones under the name “I.C.E.”

An I.C.E. number is someone to be called in case of an
emergency. Should anything happen and an individual becomes
incoherent or completely unconscious, that individual’s friends
could obtain his or her cell phone and know exactly who to
call.

In regards to dangerous relationships with alcohol and the
reason that he speaks, Scarpo said, “If you don’t address this
stuff now, it’s just who you become.”

Workshop promotes healthy relationship with alcohol

Aaron Bagamaspad / The Poly Post

Workshop promotes healthy relationship with alcohol

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