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Students learn about the dangers of binge drinking

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Binge drinking and hazing is a problem on college campuses and Colorado State University-Pueblo is working to educate students and prevent tragedy from happening, according to Stephanie Arellano, CSU-Pueblo interim alcohol and other drug education program coordinator.

Arellano said the Thursday, Sept. 24 GordieDay event was a great way to educate students about the dangers of binge drinking.  Arellano said the event, held at the Occhiato University Center and in Residence Hall, inspired students to wear green arm bands, and read literature emphasizing the dangers of alcohol and hazing.  She also said students watched videos in which experts spoke about the dangers of alcohol abuse and hazing on college and university campuses.

Arellano said GordieDay is named after college freshman Lynn Gordon Bailey, Jr., who died from alcohol poisoning during a fraternity initiation at the University of Colorado- Boulder in September 2004.  Michael and Leslie Lanahan started the Gordie Foundation in honor of their son, she said.

Students should check on friends if they pass out or show erratic behavior, Arellano said.  The green GordieCheck card, provided by the foundation and distributed to students, emphasizes these signs of alcohol poisoning.  A person who passes out, vomits, has seizures, irregular breathing, is confused or has pale skin may have alcohol poisoning and needs immediate medical attention, she said.

The GordieCheck card notes, “Your friends can die from alcohol poisoning.  Get help when necessary.  Save a life.  Make the call.”

Jacob Ayers, a history major and social chair for Lambda Chi Alpha, said he and his fraternity brothers drink but not to excess.  He said he and his fraternity brothers don’t allow hazing, and confiscates drinks from and monitors drunken students.

“No one gets hurt at our parties,” Ayers said, “and we make sure everyone who drinks is 21 years old.”

According to a brochure published by the Bacchus Network, a student health organization, students are drinking heavily and too quickly, and are becoming statistics.  The Bacchus Network claims students play an effective role in encouraging their peers to develop responsible habits and attitudes toward high-risk health and safety issues.

Arellano said CSU-Pueblo hopes to enforce binge drinking and hazing policies by partnering with all campus fraternities and sororities.

“This event will have been a success if we could get at least one student to think about the consequences binge drinking brings,” Arellano said.