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Penn State University

 

Recent Alcohol-Related Tragedies involving Penn State University Students

Richard Smith, October 28, 2006, Penn State How and why? A student was driving with a .242 blood alcohol content (BAC) when he struck to other Penn State students who were crossing the street.   Richard Smith died and Aaron Stidd continues to experience severe complication as result of the accident.
Erik Nistad, April 11, 2009, Penn State How and why? Erik was killed instantly when he crashed a car into a tree. He was driving under the influence of alcohol with a .20 percent blood alcohol.
Joseph Dado, September 20, 2009, Penn State How and why? After being missing for hours, Joseph was found by University at the bottom of a stairwell on campus, about 75 yards away from the fraternity house where he was last seen.  Earlier in the month, two Penn State students were charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor after a 19-year-old sustained serious injuries following a fall from a third-floor balcony.  Joseph's blood alcohol level was .169.
 
Follow the links for article's detailing the tragic incidents for each individual.
 

Penn State University in the Press

Pennsylvania State University COLLEGE BING DRINKING-College Binge Drinking & Hazing: An Emerging Epidemic -1/19/10 “Even more horrifying was the story of Lorraine Hanna, a freshman at Penn who was found dead by her twin sister after having been left alone after a New Year’s Eve party. Toxicology reports found her blood alcohol content to be .429.”
Penn State University- Schuylkill Schuylkill Haven police charge 33 in underage drinking incident-9/3/11 “Thirty-three people, many who attend Penn State University's Schuylkill campus, were arrested by borough police and charged with underage drinking after officers received a report of an "out of control underage booze party" early Friday morning.  All of those at the party were identified as Penn State University students, friends or relatives of students from their respective hometown areas, police said.”
Pennsylvania State University Penn State alcohol debate turns to action-6/10/10 Penn State’s reaction to a student deaty
Pennsylvania State University PSU student learns hard lesson about alcohol-2/24/11 Student’s personal experience with the “right of passage”: “Eventually my drinking landed me in the hospital from an alcohol overdose. Because that was my first time in the emergency room, I wrote it off as bad luck. I had not had a history of binge drinking in high school and wasn’t worried about my frequent drinking habits at Penn State.”
Pennsylvania State University Enjoy revelry while it lasts, then grow up-3/4/11 Student view on alcohol scene: “It’s important for people to discover their limits, see the bad things that can happen to them and learn from it. And if your green projectile vomit doesn’t teach you a thing or two and make you curb your drinking, maybe legal ramifications are just the wakeup call you need.”
Pennsylvania State University PSU alcohol program saw 800 students in first semester-1/10/11 “The nationally recognized program, called Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS), is aimed at reducing high-risk drinking.   Students who were cited for an alcohol violation or had an alcohol-related visit to the emergency room at Mount Nittany Medical Center were required to complete two one-hour sessions with a community health educator and were charged $200. Students who referred themselves were not charged.”
Pennsylvania State University Stopping binge drinking-9/19/11 ““Several seemingly unrelated events combined during the last school year to focus a spotlight on the issue of excessive drinking.  Chief among them was the death of Penn State student Joseph Dado, who fell into a campus stairwell while walking home from a party in September.”
Pennsylvania State University Penn State alcohol debate turns to action-6/7/10 “Starting in the fall, the university will unveil a more intense counseling program for students who end up being treated in the emergency room for alcohol overdoses. It will send letters of concern to parents of incoming students, and is considering, at the gates of Beaver Stadium, requiring that students previously ejected for drunken behavior take Breathalyzer tests.”
Pennsylvania State University Recent Legal Action Against Fraternities for Drinking-Related Deaths-2010 “At Penn State, members of Alpha Epsilon Pi have been charged with hazing for an incident that sent two fraternity members to the hospital with alcohol poisoning; thankfully, nobody died. One pledge stated that he was warned by frat officials to “wear old clothes” for a bid initiation ceremony and, on arrival, was forced to turn over his phone, jacket, and wallet. He and other pledges were then led to the basement where 30 frat members circled the pledges and forced them to participate in hard-core drinking games. The pledge claims he was soaked with beer and vomit, but was given dry clothes and carried back to the dorm.”
Pennsylvania State University Penn State frat charged with hazing after 5 get drunk-4/7/10 “During the pledge ceremony, the boys sat on chairs in a circle with a garbage can in the middle in case of vomiting.  Frat members plied the youths with different brands of spirits, including malt liquor, Southern Comfort and Jim Beam whiskeys, and various flavors of Mad Dog 20-20 wine.  The pledges then were ordered to chug the drinks while other fraternity members cheered them on and poured beer over them.”
Pennsylvania State University Alcohol Abuse A Primary Concern For Penn State President Graham Spanier-4/2/10 “Spanier said "probably nothing" commands as much of his time and attention as Penn State's alcohol problems do. The issue has begun commanding more of the public's attention this academic year, too, particularly since the September death of freshman Joseph Dado, 18.”
Pennsylvania State University No cause for celebration-Frats, bars downplay State Patty’s day-2/12/10 “Last year, the festivities got so out of hand, State College Police Chief Tom King lashed out, calling it a drunk fest that resulted in $4,500 in police overtime spent to deal with alcohol overdoses, dozens of DUI arrests, assaults and incidents of vandalism.”
Pennsylvania State University Competing interests cloud alcohol debate-2/4/10 “In the 2008-2009 academic year, 30 percent more students were admitted to Mount Nittany Medical Center for alcohol related problems than the year before. Police issued 29 percent more citations to students for public drunkenness. In a recent university survey, more than half of Penn State students identify themselves as moderate to heavy drinkers, and almost half report not remembering some of what happened the night before. More than 77 percent of the students who drink had Blood Alcohol Content above the legal driving limit. And more students are launching their college careers with drinking patterns in place.”
Pennsylvania State University Glorifying alcohol makes matters worse-1/27/10 View from a student RA: “Underage drinking is clearly not something we can ignore, especially within the on-campus population. Most students living in the residence halls are under 21 and undeniably breaking the law. Some of our students will act responsibly around alcohol, but spend a weekend with any resident assistant and you will see firsthand many students who do not.“
Pennsylvania State University Princeton Review Top Party Schools 2011-8/3/11 Reports on Princeton Review’s 2011 top party school list and provides the top ten.----# 3.) Pennsylvania State University
Penn State University Staying Sober on Campus: Success Stories in Effort to End Alcohol Abuse Among College Students—Spring 2010 “The PSU student center is now the site of weekly “Saturday Night Sober” meetings for students who wish to remain alcohol-free.  The brainchild of graduate student Steven F. (keeping with the philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous, the student told The Collegian that he preferred not to give his last name), the Saturday sessions were established to provide an on-campus alternative to the traditional party scene.”
Pennsylvania State University Penn State drinking holiday causes concern-2/25/10 Penns State “students have created another drinking holiday, one they've coined "State Patty's Day."  Last year, the event generated more alcohol-related visits to the emergency room, arrests for driving under the influence, and other alcohol-related criminal activity than any other weekend. That included homecoming, Halloween, the actual St. Patrick's Day, and big home football games.”
Pennsylvania Colleges Pa. Senate looks at alcohol issues in college towns, including West Chester-9/14/10 "The more crucial and realistic legislation here is the legislation that will control the behavior of intoxicated students," he said. "We have a problem in our community of serious misbehavior by students when they are intoxicated, and I am fully in favor of holding those students accountable for their actions."
Penn State University On Campus, a Law Enforcement System to Itself-11/11/11 Reflection on scandal: “On most of these campuses, law enforcement is the responsibility of sworn police officers who report to university authorities, not to the public. With full-fledged arrest powers, such campus police forces have enormous discretion in deciding whether to refer cases directly to district attorneys or to leave them to the quiet handling of in-house disciplinary proceedings.”
Penn State University Immunity given minors who aid intoxicated peers-10/30/11 “A new Pennsylvania law gives immunity from prosecution to a minor who calls 911 for an intoxicated friend in a medical emergency related to drinking.”  “The law specifically exempts from prosecution an underage person trying to help a fellow minor who was drinking and became sick or was injured. It does not exempt the drunken person needing medical attention from prosecution,”
Penn State Universities Can Learn Lessons from Penn State-12/7/11 Fraternity parties. Because many fraternity houses are off campus, college administrators have adopted a policy of benign neglect regarding weekend parties. Owing to their geographic location, these houses are beyond the university’s jurisdiction and control. However, the school will be at risk should an intoxicated student later injure himself or herself after returning to school property. Of course, the school’s risk will be far greater if the student dies of alcohol poisoning while on school property.”
Penn State Penn State Students Drink Alcohol…Still-6/24/13 “The surveys are in and the result is clear — Penn State students are consuming alcohol at nearly the same rate as they have over the last six years,”  See complete survey 
Penn State Student Injured in Fall From Apartment Balcony-11/22/13 “Less than a week after a Penn State student fell to his death, a second student has fallen from an apartment balcony. The only positive aspect is that this time the student survived -- suffering what appears to be a broken leg.”
Penn State Symposium to reduce alcohol abuse attracts diverse audience to find a solution-10/8/13 ““Heavy drinking students will reduce their alcohol use when it is in his or her best interest.” Such change can occur when students realize that alcohol use is interfering with their personal values and goals.”
Penn State University works to make students AWARE of sexual violence-9/10/13 “Police are investigating five sexual assaults that took place between Aug. 23 and Sept. 2. None of the assaults are related and in each of the crimes the victims reported they were acquainted with the alleged suspects. All of the assaults occurred during late night/early morning hours and took place during or following alcohol-related functions.”
Penn State Penn State Squirrels Don Festive Hats to Dis-cuss Serious Issue-6/25/13 “Penn State students, upon their 21st birthday, will receive a link to a special Web site promoting safe drinking habits.”
Penn State Man who jumped to death in State College identified-4/16/13 “In December, another 19-year-old woman fell from a window in State College. The woman fell 8 or 9 feet, according to police, and suffered multiple lacerations. Alcohol was reportedly a factor in both cases.”
Penn State University Pa. colleges move to curb student drinking-9/19/13 “Last spring, Pennsylvania State University paid 34 State College bars and restaurants more than $167,000 to abstain from serving alcohol to anyone during the student-organized "State Patty's Day."”
 
 

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