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Alcohol Related Tragedies:  Fall 2007  Spring 2008  Fall 2008   Spring 2009  Fall 2009  Spring 2010  Fall 2010   Spring 2011

Purdue University

Recent Alcohol-Related Tragedies involving Purdue University Students

Sean Matti, 22, July 3, 2011, Purdue University How and why? Sean was reported missing on a Sunday afternoon while swimming with friends.  He was found in the water the following Tuesday morning.  Witnesses reported that Sean was drinking that afternoon.
Wade S. Steffey January 13, 2007, Purdue University How and why?  Wade was accidentally electrocuted after he somehow got inside the room, which should have been locked. He was last seen around 12:30 a.m. Jan. 13 outside Owen Hall where he had left his coat before going to a nearby fraternity party. Nine weeks later, his body was found about 50 yards away in a semi-underground electrical vault at Owen Hall.  Steffey was intoxicated at the time of his death, based on a blood-alcohol content given in a report from the coroner's office. 
Patrick Trainor, March 20, 2010, Purdue University How and why? Patrick was last seen at a friend's party on a Saturday night.  He never returned to Purdue when expected on Monday morning.  After days of searching, Wednesday afternoon, divers discovered Patrick’s car and body in a retention pond, not far from the party's location.  His blood alcohol content was determined to be 0.19. 
Follow the links for article's detailing the tragic incidents for each individual.

Purdue University in the Press

Purdue University When Purdue's weekend drinking rituals begin, the community holds its breath-10/6/13 “Had the police and paramedics arrived just a few moments later, the Purdue University community would have been mourning the loss of another student to binge drinking. As it turned out, the young woman was intubated, transported to a hospital and released the next day.”
Purdue University Medical amnesty bill could become state law-2/16/12 “The Purdue student government pushed for a campus medical amnesty. In fall 2011, that policy was adopted by the university.”
Purdue University Alcohol ban provides test of wills on game day-9/26/11 “Typically a home Purdue Football game, such as Saturday's ill-fated match against Toledo, would induce sanctioned and unsanctioned parties and a slew of Greek alumni sharing beers with their younger brethren at houses near campus.   But the alcohol ban, which is indefinite, means Purdue's Greeks and students living in co-ops can't drink alcohol at their facilities.”
Purdue University Campus team created to address high risk drinking-9/2/11 Reports on Purdue’s participation in Learning Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking
Purdue University Purdue teams up to address high-risk drinking-8/29/11 “Purdue University has formed a campus team of 18 faculty, staff and students to suggest and spearhead new ways to reduce high-risk drinking.”
Purdue University Student Government approves tailgate function-8/25/11 “Purdue Student Government “has successfully advocated for and launched a student tailgate zone, the Boiler Campus Tailgate, with free food, drinks and entertainment open to all students.”  “Until now, the University did not provide a substance-free environment for students to enjoy their time before sporting events”
Purdue University Purdue suspects frats of serving minors alcohol-8/24/11 “Kappa Sigma and Lambda Chi Alpha are suspected of providing alcohol to minors during Boiler Gold Rush.”  “Both were suspended earlier this week to prevent any further incidents.”
Purdue University PU invokes exemption rule if drinking-6/29/11 Amnesty Rule-Common student reaction after peer dies from alcohol poisoning.  Will lack of sanctions result in more prudent reaction to a colleague who is “sleeping it off”?
Purdue University Purdue approves medical amnesty for alcohol cases-6/29/11 From local media-“ It's a part of college life that can get out of control: a student so drunk, they need a doctor.”
Purdue University Purdue approves interim medical amnesty policy-6/28/11 From campus newspaper: "In cases of student intoxication and/or alcohol poisoning that occur on the West Lafayette campus, on the premises of a recognized student organization or at a function sponsored by a recognized student organization, the intoxicated student, as well as the student(s) seeking medical attention on the intoxicated student's behalf, will be exempt form disciplinary sanction related to alcohol consumption."
Purdue University Program seeks to improve alcohol awareness-5/18/11 “An incoming student to Purdue will now have to take a course that warns of the dangers of taking one shot or taking six.”
Purdue University Activities Key to Cutting College Binge Drinking-3/7/11 Survey data show notable drops in student binge drinking at several colleges and universities. --The number of Purdue students who engaged in binge drinking sank from 48 percent in 2006 to 37.3 percent in 2009.
Purdue University Four fraternities violate alcohol policies 11/1/10 “Lambda Chi Alpha, Theta Tau, Phi Kappa Psi and Beta Theta Pi fraternities were put on probation for serving minors alcohol at separate functions at each of the chapters.”
Purdue University Greek, co-op alcohol ban ends-10/1/10 Student imposed ban lifted with limiting policies in place.  Stats included in article: “Purdue Fire Department this semester had responded to 201 ambulance calls, with 25 directly related to alcohol intoxication. By this time last year, there were 166 ambulance calls, with 17 directly related to alcohol.”
Purdue University Purdue tries to curb drinking-8/27/10 “Since classes resumed at Purdue, paramedics have made 23 emergency runs directly tied to excessive alcohol consumption. Last year at this time, there were only 17 such incidents.”
Purdue University When Purdue's weekend drinking rituals begin, the community holds its breath-10/6/13 “A few minutes before 2 a.m., the Purdue pharmacy student stopped breathing.  Her body poisoned with alcohol beyond its capacity to function, her gag reflex deadened, her throat clogged with vomit, the 20-year-old woman slumped in the dining room of a fraternity early last Saturday, rapidly suffocating.”
Purdue 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/
Purdue University College Parties, Minus the Beer Binges -2/16/11 Various campus have regular alcohol-free events as an alternative to unavoidable exposure to drinking.  “Surveys at Purdue University, for example, show a sharp drop in binge drinking among students, to 37.3% in 2009 from 48% in 2006.”  “This in part to a boom in late-night, alcohol-free events on or around campus, from poetry slams and dances to carnivals and "cabin-fever" parties.”
Purdue University Purdue interfraternity leaders vote to ban alcohol-9/24/10 “It's a bold move aimed at helping put an end to alcohol abuse at an Indiana college, and it's the students taking action.  Fraternities, sororities and co-ops at Purdue University have now banned drinking at their facilities and events.”
Purdue University AlcoholEdu more effective than students realize-9/3/13 “During the 2010-11 academic year, the number of public intoxication and minor consumption tickets handed out by the Purdue police department was 103 and 101, respectively. Those numbers have changed to 128 a”nd 99 this past year, showing little objective progress since bringing in the program.”
Indiana Colleges Proposed Bill Would Allow Guns On College Campuses-12/7/11 “"Alcohol plays a big role in people's weekends, and people using (a gun) responsibly will be an issue,"” IU Junior TL said. ----- “"Ever since the disappearance of Lauren Spierer, I've been kind of scared (for my safety)," said IU junior EJ. "To have one for protection, I think it's a good idea. It's in our Bill of Rights, so I'd say go for it."”
Indiana Colleges Amnesty bill promoted by Purdue students signed-5/5/12 “The Senate Enrolled Act 274, also known as the “Indiana Lifeline Law,” is to encourage miners to seek emergency assistance for friends rather than not calling and leaving them in medical peril.  “In too many cases, and one would be too many, students were hesitant to come to the aid, or summon aid, to a friend who had over indulged in alcohol and sometimes with tragic consequences,” Daniels said.”
Indiana Colleges Gov. Daniels signs Lifeline bill into law-3/18/12 “Those who seek medical help for an underage intoxicated friend in the state of Indiana will now be able to receive limited protection under the newly signed Indiana Lifeline Law.”

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