Students Get 'Wreckless' at Alcohol-Free Parties
Corrigan Nolan began his college career the way many students do. He made new friends, went to class, joined campus organizations — and started drinking. When his alcohol consumption began to strain relationships with those closest to him, he knew he had to stop. Unfortunately, as Nolan began to limit his alcohol consumption, he realized something: he had forgotten how to have fun while sober.
In early 2011, Nolan, along with other passionate and driven students, formed Wreckless, an organization dedicated to redefining what it means to have fun in college.
“Fortunately, I was able to quit, and then wanted to help others who went or were going through similar struggles,” said Nolan, asixth-year mechanical engineering major. “Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to change the drinking culture on campus. Georgia Tech has many great resources and programs to address this issue, but my experience taught me that I needed something different.”
Nolan and his team looked to organizations on other campuses such as the University of Georgia’s Phi Slam and Louisiana State University’s Students on Target for inspiration.
Through their research, they learned that students drink alcohol for a variety of reasons: to celebrate, to relieve stress, out of boredom or habit, and to feel liberated by the temporary loss of inhibitions that alcohol can provide. In recent years, Georgia Tech has seen consistent issues with incidents related to alcohol, manifested in ways including ejections from athletic events and hospitalizations. Nolan's team decided to address this problem by doing what students do best: partying.
With the help of funding from several campus entities, including the Student Government Association, Student Foundation, Office of Greek Affairs, Buzzfunds, and Freshman Experience, Wreckless throws huge theme parties that inspire and remind students what it’s like to play like kids and let their imaginations run wild, despite the stressful nature of life as a Tech student.
“We’re not here to be just another club, nor a social wrist-slapper,” said Dennis Gast, a third-year business administration major and Wreckless’ vice president of public relations. “We want to foster a community of Georgia Tech students who want to have an unforgettable weekend without alcohol, drugs, and the consequences that can sometimes come with them.”
Past Wreckless events include Snow My Gosh, Don’t Worry Beach Happy, Jamazon Rageforest, and Caution: Flannable, a lumberjack-themed party that included eight zorbs (human hamster balls), fake snow, and a disc jockey on Tech Green.
This semester’s Wreckless extravaganza is called “It’s Pasture Bedtime.” The event is farmhouse-themed and will include swing dancing, a live band and DJ, and a mechanical bull. It’s Pasture Bedtime will take place on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Tech Green.