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

Virginia Tech


Virginia Tech in the Press

Virginia Tech Police, Virginia Tech students promote safety during Halloween weekend-10/30/14 “The rule of thumb for these students is "Go with friends, stay with friends, leave with friends," to raise awareness about keeping out of harms way when going out.”
Virginia Tech There are no strings attached to saving lives-9/25/14 “With the legal risks involved, peers usually only bring their drunk friends to the hospital as a last resort — if they are scared for the life of their friends. So, don’t blame friends for trying to save your life. Be thankful for the people around you who made sure you lived through the night.”
Virginia Tech Appeals Court Allows Alcohol Ads in Virginia College Newspapers-9/25/13 “A federal appeals court has ruled that student newspapers at Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia can publish advertisements for alcohol despite a regulation banning such ads that the state says is meant to curb underage drinking.”
Virginia Tech Paying the price for drinking-11/15/09 Accounts of the consequences of campus alcohol use, especially at football games
Virginia Tech Special Report Day 1: Arrests, convictions rare in Va. college sex assault cases-11/13/11 “The analysis of seven schools in Virginia found that campus police investigated 62 reported sex crimes during calendar years 2008, 2009 and 2010, with just seven cases resulting in arrests and four in convictions. Remarkably, none of the convictions involved a student-on-student attack, the most common type of campus sexual assault.”” “The reported assaults are often clouded by alcohol, which had been consumed by the victim, the alleged assailant or both in at least 40 percent of the cases.” “If alcohol is involved and the assault occurs in a party atmosphere, the victim may begin to question herself and even receive criticism from friends.”
Virginia Tech Officials expect increase in alcohol violations Saturday-9/29/11 “On average, there are 19 arrests made on a typical game day, according to data collected between 2005 and 2010.”  “VT Police is preparing for fans consuming large amounts of alcohol before the game. Police officers will spend game day patrolling tailgates, and areas in and around the stadium.”
Virginia Tech Party Positive legitimizes underage drinking-9/3/13 “Party Positive is at best characterized as a program that acknowledges the illegality of underage alcohol consumption while giving students tools to practice responsible drinking. On the other hand, Party Positive essentially teaches young college students how to commit a Class 1 misdemeanor and prevent being caught.”
Virginia Tech Alcohol, drug charges rare for college students-2/26/11 Survey of DC area schools demonstrates that “students who break drug and alcohol laws are "fully aware that, for the most part, nothing is going to happen to them,"
Virginia Tech Alcohol and college really don't mix-8/31/10 “James Madison University has started off-campus patrols every weekend and joined Virginia Tech and other schools in notifying parents of every alcohol-related violation their children commit.”
Virginia Tech Which Campus Has The Highest Crime Rate?-5/27/10 Crime statistics compared for DC area colleges.
Virginia Tech Colleges enlist parents to curb problem drinking-2/28/10 “"If you have one beer in the dorm and you get caught, I don't feel like parents should be notified," said a junior engineering major. "Now that we're all in college, we're all adults. It's kind of your responsibility to take care of yourself. If you want to make your parents aware you're about to be kicked out of school, then it's on you."”  “Studies show that students who say their parents would disapprove of them drinking are less likely to drink heavily once they get to college”
Virginia Tech Parent notification policies for underage drinking evolve-2/23/10 “Privacy laws prohibit university officials from communicating with parents about much more than tuition bills, but for more than a decade schools have had the legal authority to notify parents of students younger than 21 about alcohol- and drug-related matters. Many do so only for the most serious incidents. Others restrict parental notification to drug crimes.”
Virginia Tech Tech notifies parents about student alcohol offenses-1/30/10 “Bowing to parental requests, Tech officials decided to exercise a provision of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that allows the university to notify parents when students are disciplined for alcohol and drug-related infractions -- even on a first offense.”
Virginia Tech Most College Alcohol Arrests at VT-11/16/09 “Police charged Virginia Tech students with nearly three times as many on-campus alcohol-related crimes compared to other universities in 2008.”  “Virginia Tech reported 219 liquor law arrests, while JMU reported 87 and the University of Virginia reported 80. In addition, 598 alcohol violations were referred for disciplinary action at Tech, 573 at JMU and 16 at U.Va”
Virginia Colleges Appeals Court Allows Alcohol Ads in Virginia College Newspapers-9/25/13 “A federal appeals court has ruled that student newspapers at Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia can publish advertisements for alcohol despite a regulation banning such ads that the state says is meant to curb underage drinking.”

Recent Alcohol-Related Tragedies involving Virginia Tech Students

Thomas Ryan Hauser, 23,  September 19, 2004, Virginia Tech More Information Thomas' friends carried him back from a bar and put him on his right side on the living room floor to let him sleep it off. His roommates thought he was still sleeping it off when they found him on the floor the next morning, but he had died during the early morning hours,  Two other college students were hospitalized over the weekend for alcohol poisoning, but both recovered. 
Brian Joseph McCloskey, 18, November 10, 2005, Virginia Tech More Information Brian lost his life five days after being hit by an automobile driven by an intoxicated student.  The driver, attending a party close to the party that Brian was attending, was transporting students between parties.   
Morgan Harrington, 20, October, 2009,  Virginia Tech More Information Morgan had temporally left a Metallica concert alone.  When denied reentry, Morgan attempted to return to campus but was not seen again for months.  After a lengthy and public search, her body was found in a field in January.   Police reported that Morgan had been drinking at the concert.
David Gayle, September 25, 2010, Virginia Tech More Information David lost his life when he fell from the railing of a third-floor balcony at an off-campus apartment complex.  The medical examiner’s statement says he stopped breathing because of a head injury and severe inebriation.
Dan Sohovich, 23, June 9, 2011, Virginia Tech More Information Dan lost his life when he was tossed from his convertible after it hit a guardrail, corkscrewed in mid-air, then flipped end over end.  His blood alcohol level was tested to be .14.
Follow the links for article's detailing the tragic incidents for each individual.

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Questions to Ask in Evaluating the Priority a College Places on Student Alcohol Use and Safety

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