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Female presenting individual with hand out stopping a drink pour. Credit: @user10669693 / Freepik

What is a Sober Monitor?

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What is a Sober Monitor? Sober monitors are students who are part of the hosting group who are designated to be sober for the entirety of the event to prevent any problems from occurring and to be the “go to” people in the event of an emergency.

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More About a Sober Monitor

What does a Sober Monitor do?

Before the event, they work with whoever is planning the party to understand the space and to understand what safety measures are in place or need to be put in place prior to the event. The goal is to do the work up front so that you make your role as a sober monitor that night EASY. If you set yourself up for success then you won’t necessarily have situations arise where you need to intervene and make tough decisions. Together, the party planners and the sober monitors are responsible for ensuring the safety of the event.

During the event, Sober Monitors have a minimum of the following 4 core duties:

  • Door Person(s): These sobers should be checking Stanford IDs to ensure that all guests are Stanford students. There should be a sober at every open entrance/exit. Minimum of two sobers at the main entrance. These people should also be making sure their guests don’t go outside with alcohol.
  • Stairway person(s): These sobers should be posted at stairways to ensure that guests do not go upstairs unless authorized by the people who live in the house. This will prevent roof access as well as ensure personal property is not damaged or stolen.
  • Mingler(s): These sobers should be interspersed throughout the party and should be walking around, interacting with guests casually and managing any problems that come to their attention.
  • Beverage Service(s): Sobers stationed here should have a system for identifying members and guests who are of the legal drinking age (21+) and should only serve guests who are of age and who are not overly intoxicated. THIS SOBER MONITOR MUST BE 21 OR OLDER. If you have hired licensed bartenders then you do not need a sober monitor at each beverage station.
    • Exceptions: If the party is off campus at a bar/club or space that already provides door people and bouncers, or license bartenders, your sober monitors are not responsible for those specific core duties. It IS the responsibility of the hosting group to specifically ask what professional personnel the venue provides ahead of time so they can plan accordingly. You will ALWAYS need to have minglers no matter what space you are in.
    • After the event:
      • Rally your fellow hosts and clean up anything left in the front or backyard. Clean the house.
      • If something happened and 911 was called, make sure you email the row911 email list and follow up with your PM
      • Check in with your staff and community leadership to discuss the event. What went well? What can you do better next time? Who can you reach out to for help planning the next one?
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How many sober monitors do I need?

  • A minimum of two sober monitors are required for a registered party regardless of party size. Primary and/or secondary contacts may serve as sober monitors. 
  • There must be one sober monitor per 25 expected guests. 
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Can our sober monitors have even just one drink if they are still sober enough to drive?

No! It is not okay for a sober monitor to have ANYTHING (even sips) to drink before or during an event. This includes use of other drugs as well. This is less about the ability to drive (in any emergency situation, you should be calling 911, NOT driving people to the hospital). This is more about the agreement that you set to be sober for your guests. If you don’t take that responsibility seriously, then guests won’t take you seriously and they won’t go to you if there is something wrong at your event. If someone were to witness or find out that one of the sober monitors was drinking before or during an event, it sets the tone that alcohol is more important than the safety and comfort of your guests.