Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr., a University of Colorado-Boulder
freshman, was found dead in CU’s Chi Psi fraternity house, 1080
14th St., last Friday, according to a statement by Chancellor
Bailey, whose cause of death has not been released, was the
second student to be found dead in a Colorado fraternity house in
less than three weeks. Samantha Spady, a sophomore business major
at CSU, was found dead at the Sigma Pi fraternity house, 709 Wagner
Drive, on Sept. 5. Spady’s cause of death was determined to be
acute alcohol poisoning.
“At this point, we do not know the circumstances surrounding
this incident. In light of recent events in Colorado and around the
nation, we are, of course, concerned about any possibility of the
involvement of alcohol in this tragedy,” Byyny said in a Sept. 17
An investigation continues into the latest fraternity
“It’s under investigation by the city of Boulder Police
Department,” said CU spokesperson Pauline Hale. “We will wait to
see what we learn from the investigation.”
In a press release Thursday, CSU President Larry Penley
announced the members of a task force on alcohol and substance
abuse, chaired by Lieut. Gov. Jane Norton, to examine
alcohol-related issues such as binge drinking and underage
Ray Baker, head of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education,
said the commission does not have any plans to create a task force
or committee in regards to the two recent deaths.
“I think President Penley has shown great leadership and I think
he will continue to do so,” Baker said. “It’s a great opportunity
to collect the necessary information and eliminate and minimize
Baker said he did not think the task force would be expanded to
become a statewide program in light of Bailey’s death.
“I think (the task force) is a great start,” Baker said. “(But)
there’s no blueprint to follow for things like this.”
Amber O’Connor, communications specialist for Norton’s office,
said Penley has not talked about expanding the committee.
“We are hoping that whatever the task force comes up with will
be looked at nationwide,” O’Connor said. “As far as the actions of
the task force itself, it will stay concentrated on just CSU.”
The two student deaths, as well as two Fort Collins riots the
weekend before school started, have put Colorado universities in
the national spotlight.
“The rest of the nation will forget it in a week and we’ll still
be dealing with it,” said Associated Students of CSU President
Katie Clausen. “I think that definitely, Colorado’s going to be a
spot on the map now, and not in a positive way.”
Still, Baker said he does not believe heavy drinking problems
are the result of any one organization or environment.
“I don’t think it’s an issue for CSU and CU, I think it’s an
issue around the country,” he said.
In fact, approximately 1,400 students die each year in alcohol
related accidents, O’Connor said.
“It’s not just a Greek problem and it’s not just a college
problem. I don’t think it can be categorized as a problem at
universities,” she said. “If you categorize it only as a campus,
you’re going to be leaving out a big community of individuals that
are involved just as much.”
The real question, O’Connor said, is what social situations and
circumstances cause binge drinking.
Robert Maust, chairman of CU’s Standing Committee on Substance
Abuse, agreed. Although all freshmen at CU are required to undergo
a three-hour online alcohol education program, AlcoholEdu,
individual choices are ultimately the biggest determinant of
student behavior, Maust said.
Until the cause of death is determined, Maust said, no new
programs or initiatives can be created.
“I think any time that we experience a tragedy, we have to
pause, reflect and see what we can learn from it and how to make
(CU) a safer community,” Maust said.