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Alcohol Related Tragedies:  Listing for:  Spring 2004  Fall 2004  Spring 2005  Fall 2005  Spring 2006  Fall 2006  Spring 2007  Fall 2007  Spring 2008  Fall 2008   Spring 2009  Fall 2009  Spring 2010  Fall 2010   Spring 2011  Fall 2011  Spring 2012    Fall 2012  Spring 2013  Fall 2013   Spring 2014  Fall 2014    List for tragic stories since 2004


Cornell University


Recent Alcohol-Related Tragedies involving Cornell University Students

Khalil King, 19, August 27, 2010, Cornell University How and why? Khalil lost his life when he fell over 200 feet into Fall Creek Gorge in the early morning hours after a night of partying.   A friend was quoted: “[King] was a heavy cannabis smoker and would binge drink with the rest of us on the weekends and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this was a tragic accident likely caused by those substances.”
George Desdunes, 19, February 26, 2011, Cornell University How and why? George was found unresponsive his fraternity house. After investigating the found University determined that Desdunes, who was a brother at SAE, was provided alcohol “while in the care of certain members and associate members.”  Cornell subsequently withdrew recognition of the fraternity.
Follow the links for article's detailing the tragic incidents for each individual.

Cornell University in the Press

Cornell University Fraternity under fire for racism has ties to CU hazing-3/11/15 The national fraternity — Sigma Alpha Epsilon — that is under fire for a video showing members singing racist chants, is the same in which a Cornell University student died after a hazing incident four years ago.”
Cornell University Ivy League alcohol policy roundup-2/22/15 Cornell students must register events that will involve alcohol with the university. However, Cornell's Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs maintains its own process of approval and registration for events with alcohol.”
Cornell University Cornell Partakes in Program to Minimize Substance Abuse-10/9/14 “. The new initiative specifically targets minimizing alcohol and substance abuse on campus.”
Cornell University Cornell Sees Increase in Medical Transports Over Orientation Week-9/2/14 “Some students said they believe the shorter length of this year’s Orientation Week did not make much difference in students’ drinking habits.”
Cornell University Cornell U. Dismisses Men’s Lacrosse Coach After Team Is Punished for Hazing-11/15/13 “Ben DeLuca had been dismissed as the head coach of its men’s lacrosse program, about two months after the university canceled the team’s fall competitions over alcohol-related hazing.”
Cornell University TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT: Changing Our High-Risk Drinking Culture-11/5/13 “The culture of high-risk drinking on our campus stems, at least in part, from a disconnect between the reality of high-risk drinking and students’ perceptions.”
Cornell University Cornell hazing that ended lacrosse season involved players chugging beer-9/23/13 “Older teammates challenged new members to drink heavily and assigned them menial chores as part of a culture of hazing.”
Cornell University Ivies tighten alcohol policies-1/24/13 “Administrators and students said they have noticed a shift away from direct disciplinary approaches toward more creative educational programs, but students at four schools said the recent policies have targeted alcohol usage at the expense of Greek life.”
Cornell University Colleges pledge to squelch dangerous rites of hazing-5/2/12 Reaction to student death---“After the high-profile incident, university President David J. Skorton declared that "pledging as we know it has to stop."”
Cornell University Cornell University’s Promise: End Pledging As We Know It-4/24/12 “At Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, students, administrators and alumni are engaged in a process to change the way students pledge fraternities and sororities.”  “The university has already taken steps to prevent fraternities from using alcohol as a recruiting tool, by banning pledges from attending any fraternity parties with alcohol. Only after they become members are they able to attend those parties. And the university says, the fraternities are only allowed to serve students 21-years of age and older.”
Cornell University When a Hazing Goes Very Wrong-4/12/12 “The young man sitting on the couch beside Mr. Desdunes recalled downing four or five shots of vodka in 20 minutes and then vomiting into a garbage pail. The two were fed Pixy Stix, chocolate powder, strawberry syrup, a bite of a sandwich, hot sauce. “Something that felt like dish soap was dripped on my face,” said the 20-year-old sophomore.”
Cornell University Sigma Alpha Epsilon Denies Fault in Brother’s 2011 Death-3/29/12 “The fraternity claims that it does not have a pledge process and that it does not require anything of pledges.”
Cornell University Gannett Screens for High Risk Drinking, Drawing Student Ire-3/16/12 “If Gannett is going to screen us for alcohol dependency, then why don't' they dig even deeper into our lives and screen us for a more general, broad range of substance abuses? Are they totally oblivious to the larger cannabis, cocaine, and pharmaceutical dependencies of students on campus? I didn't realize attending school here meant signing up to be under some totalitarian-esque oversight program.”
Cornell University College binge drinking: Cornell looks to avoid another tragedy-2/22/12 “Nearly one year ago, the body of 19-year-old George Desdunes was found bound and lifeless on a couch at his fraternity house. Desdunes’ death was the result of forced binge drinking.  The letters Sigma Alpha Epsilon have since been stripped from the building, the brothers disbanded, and the university president has promised to end hazing.”
Cornell University After Daughter’s Death, Ithaca College Professor Leads Push to Curb Drinking-2/15/12 “Following the alcohol-related death of his daughter, Prof. Joseph Cheng, finance and international business, Ithaca College, is leading an initiative to have students publicly pledge to abstain from drinking alcohol until they turn 21.”  “So far, twenty-five students from both Cornell and Ithaca College have taken the pledge”
Cornell University Cornell Expresses Concern About High-Risk Drinking-1/25/12 Student article---“The experience of this freshman — who was granted anonymity because his actions were illegal — may be part of a growing trend of high-risk behavior that has led University administrators, student leaders and even Collegetown landlords to express concern over a culture of excessive drinking.”
Cornell University Cornell, Landlords Mull New Patrols to Combat Collegetown Drinking-1/24/12 Student article---“To combat a perceived displacement of drinking from campus fraternities to Collegetown properties, Lewis said the University implemented joint enforcement between the Cornell University Police Department and Ithaca Police Department.”
Cornell University Culture Shock for the Greek Community-1/23/12 Student view---“ However, the IFC’s admission that, in fact, alcohol consumption moved to Collegetown annexes and other off-campus locations confirms that there remains much work to be done by Greek leadership and the administration to ensure that Cornell sees a full-scale departure from high-risk drinking — and the serious consequences that result from it. Without a true cultural shift, dangerous alcohol consumption will continue to be displaced.”
Cornell University TKE Will Lose Recognition After Reported Hospitalization-1/19/12 “Cornell will revoke its recognition of Tau Kappa Epsilon for at least three years following reports of an alcohol-related hospitalization of a freshman.”
Cornell University Excessive Student Drinking Is Causing Problems, Collegetown Landlords Say-12/18/11 “Concerned about a spillover of excessive drinking into Collegetown, local landlords and residents urged Cornell administrators to crack down on unruly students.”
Cornell University College hazing rituals come under new fire after death of FAMU marching band student-12/9/11 “Dangerous hazing rituals such as binge drinking on college campuses remains a major issue where many pledges have died as a result of alcohol poisoining. This past summer, the heartbroken mother of a Cornell University sophomore sued the ivy league school for $25 million dollars after fraternity brothers kidnapped her son, blindfolded him, bound his hands and feet, and forced him to drink so much alcohol that he passed out and died.”
Cornell University New Scanners Deter Freshmen from Fraternity Parties-10/14/11 Student article---“Fraternities are required to borrow a card scanner and iPod with ID Card Scan for all registered social events, during which chapter presidents and social chairs can access the application, which connects to PeopleSoft and, when scanned, displays the student’s name, class year and whether or not they are 21 years old.”
Cornell University Texas Students Should Learn From Recent Fraternity Hazing Death-9/12/11 “Earlier this year, a 19-year-old student died in a fraternal hazing case that can only be described as barbaric. The student, a freshman "pledge" of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), was kidnapped by fraternity members who blindfolded him and bound his hands and feet. The young man was then forced to drink alcohol until he lost consciousness and passed out.”
Cornell University Liquor License, Other Obstacles Delay Opening of Campus Pub-9/6/11 ““It seems to me that we need a variety of social venues,” he said. “While we know that five eighths of undergraduates cannot consume alcohol legally, we also know that three eighths can. We need to find a way to create a social venue that permits all students to socialize together despite the law that requires us to only serve alcohol to those who are of age.””
Cornell University Colleges take sensible steps to combat binge-drinking-9/5/11 Cornell “cracked down on fraternity pledging rituals - raising the question of why the university didn’t realize years ago that pledging is often only hazing in disguise.”
Cornell University Drug, Alcohol Amnesty Law Will Protect Students Off Campus-8/29/11 “New York State's Good Samaritan Law, which provides amnesty for those seeking emergency services for underage drinking or drug charges, goes into effect on Sept. 18.”
Cornell University A Pledge to End Fraternity Hazing-8/23/11 Cornell’s President’s NYTimes op-ed regarding the University’s reaction to a recent campus death
Cornell University First two lessons to learn at Cornell, Ithaca College: Beware of gorges, alcohol-8/19/11 I've been editing this newspaper for 15 years. During that time, I've written many headlines about good and promising college students drowning in our gorges or dying from alcohol poisoning. The last year was a horror. Two students -- one at Cornell and one at Ithaca College-- died from alcohol poisoning.”
Cornell University Drinking collaborative establishes guidelines-7/8/11 Representatives from 32 colleges and universities meet in the newly formed Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking, including Duke University ---- More information on the Learning Collaborative at  http://www.nchip.org/
Cornell University Hazing Lawsuit: And the Deaths Keep Coming-7/3/11 Reports on a 25M lawsuit filed after “aspiring doctor allegedly had his hands bound with zip ties and duct tape and then was forced to guzzle liquor after he made a mistake reciting fraternity history. After passing out, he was dumped on the couch, where he died. His blood alcohol content was .409, five times the legal limit.” (see George Desdunes)
Cornell University The Berry Patch: Six Degrees of Anger-8/10/10 Student reporter’s take on frat drinking crackdown in part:  “Level 4: Sorority Girl Angry-This girl spends more time in her favorite frat house than 65 percent of the brothers do. Which is pretty ironic considering she’s also slept with exactly 65 percent of her favorite frat house. She’s terrified by the thought of going through freshmen year without being invited to the VIP section of frat parites by creepy older brothers with beards. In her words, “Oh my god these changes are so random. Eh, this suuucks.””
Cornell University Duke Lacrosse Scandal Sheds New Light on the Stripper Industry: A Campus Trend?-4/24/06 ““ABC News spoke with students and recent college graduates from around the country. All of them wanted to speak anonymously given the delicate nature of the topic, and all said the same thing: They had seen strippers at parties on or near campus, often at fraternity and athletic team parties celebrating birthdays or new pledges.””  “At Cornell University in New York, one graduate remembered how halfway through "Hell Week" -- an arduous ritual of breaking in new members -- fraternity brothers brought in a stripper "just to remind us that they didn't completely hate us."”

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