GUEST ESSAY: A step toward safety

Max Hines, IFC President Jan 24, 2024

Max Hines led an Interfraternity Council initiative that led to a 2,000% increase in the number of IFC members trained on Narcan and overdose prevention.

I have had the pleasure of working on a team committed to this movement as I served on the Interfraternity Council (IFC) board this past year and was elected as president of IFC this year. The ability to put pen to paper to contribute to the risk management of such a prevalent issue in our community has been a learning experience, and I hope this initiative will spread to the rest of campus in the future.

My decision to serve on IFC originally felt like an opportunity to just add to my resume and learn more about the Greek community. As I became more acclimated to the role, however, I soon realized the potential my executive board and I had to be pioneers in improving the education and safety against drug misuse.

Under my tenure as VP of Membership Development of IFC, I saw an opportunity within my position to address a problem that has impacted our communities back home and also on campus and has only seemed to spread like wildfire: fentanyl. The reality was that this narcotic had claimed far too many lives in North Carolina — including a student at NC State — and beyond, and not enough was being done to fight it.

We as an executive board realized that our members were not immune to the issues pervasive in our community but were committed to our responsibility of being part of the solution. We made the decision this past March to meet with Prevention Services to originally just receive extra insight on the problem, but what came of this interaction sparked an initiative that put our members and guests in safer hands.

In my meetings with Jeffrey Fay, Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Coordinator, he further educated me on the current fentanyl epidemic. The modern reality is that measures of risk prevention have not proven to be effective because people have free will to decide what they put in their bodies. Therefore, risk reduction measures should be put in place instead to ensure that people who make these decisions can go about it as knowledgeably and as safely as possible.

With this new knowledge of risk reduction, I looked to our council’s Narcan & Overdose Training policy for evaluation. Our policy at the time only required chapter presidents to attend one cumulative training session once a year, which I found insufficient for the health and safety of IFC members and guests in the potential absence of their top officer at an event.