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How we became involved

   

 

Why we were compelled to act:

 

After learning the troubling circumstances surrounding the death of our daughter, Kristine, and witnessing the effect on those most dear to us, Ellen and I had no choice but to seriously address something that had long concerned us, the seemingly uncontrolled underage and excessive drinking on college campuses. We quickly concluded that we did not want to get five or ten years from the time that Kristine lost her future and not feel that we did everything possible to have some positive good result from her horrible fate.

 

As they developed, these efforts centered on the following precepts:

  • Campus drinking could not be seriously addressed without first addressing underage drinking in communities.  Many freshmen arrive at campus intending to continue the practices begun during high school, some as early as middle school, without the controls that existed in their communities.
  • Those arriving on campus with a predisposition to uncontrolled drinking are all too often allowed build on the experiences and practices of their predecessors, and often take control of the campus culture.
  • This prevailing alcohol culture on campuses is so pervasive that those who are not predisposed to unlimited partying find little campus social life, especially on weekends, that does not involve alcohol.  They basically have three choices: 1) go home on weekends assuming home is sufficiently close to make this practical (many find that their friends of similar views who do live close to campus are absent on weekends),  2) become a social shut-in and avoid those activities which involve alcohol, or 3) join in with the drinkers.
  • Colleges who are indifferent to underage and excessive drinking practices often also turn a blind eye to risky activities which is all too often associated with groups of intoxicated young adults.  This was found to be true with Kristine’s sad experience.
  • The events that took Kristine’s life must not be just brushed under the carpet and those adults responsible allowed to move on.  There had to accountability, with the hope that the process would send a strong message that the egregious indifference by campus officials can not be accepted.
  • As much as were are concerned with our children’s peers with respect to involvement with risky behaviors, we need to be more concerned with the adults who allow this to continue on college campuses and in our communities by allowing house parties and supplying alcohol to minors.

More information on the circumstances at Paul Smith's College which led to Kristine's death is available at: "The Accident that Did Not Need to Happen."

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In loving Memory of Kristine Guest