GordieDay promotes awareness of binge drinking


Drinking alcohol is a part of the college experience for many, but binge drinking may lead to death.

Alcohol poisoning happens when one consumes large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time, the Mayo Clinic reports, and drinking too much too quickly can affect your breathing and heart rate and may lead to coma and death.

In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol and hazing among our youth, students are encouraged to participate in the second annual National GordieDay from 10 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 at Colorado State University-Pueblo, said Stephanie Arellano, CSU-Pueblo alcohol and other drug education program coordinator.

Arellano said students will distribute GordieDay handkerchiefs, arm bands and literature warning about the dangers of alcohol and hazing in front of the Occhiato University Center and inside Belmont Residence Hall.

She said students also will air a video titled, “HAZE” in Belmont Residence Hall and in the First Year Center. The film contains interviews with national experts who speak alcohol abuse and hazing on college and university campuses.

The event is named after Lynn Gordon Bailey, Jr., who died from an alcohol overdose following a fraternity hazing at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2004, Arellano said.

Bailey and his fraternity brothers drank several bottles of whiskey and wine in 30 minutes, she said. Bailey returned to the fraternity house and passed out in the library; he was found dead the next morning.

Arellano said students must understand hazing is not acceptable, and they should check another person’s vital signs if that person has passed out. She said she believes Bailey’s life could have been saved had this been done.

“The importance of this day is for students to not only recognize that hazing is not acceptable, but also that if friends are drinking and have ‘blacked out,’ they should be checked frequently for vital signs,” Arellano said. “We want students to change the way they think about alcohol misuse and hazing, to create a safer campus environment for our students.”

Michael and Leslie Lanahan established the non-profit Gordie Foundation in honor of their son, a foundation news release said. The foundation has established Circle of Trust Chapters on nearly 150 college and university campuses nationwide; campuses promote awareness by holding two events each academic year, the release said.

This is the first year CSU-Pueblo is holding the event, and Arellano said she encourages students to wear green to show their support.

“As a parent, I feel great empathy for Gordie’s parents,” Arellano said. “I have a passion to keep our community safe and healthy, and to do our part to make sure people are well educated to prevent these things (from happening).”

The Mayo Clinic emphasizes getting a person with alcohol poisoning immediate attention by calling 911 or local poison control center if you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning.