Time to grow up

Oct 062004
Authors: Ryan Chapman

Two weeks ago Blake Hammontree, a freshman at the University of

Oklahoma, was found dead on the floor of his Sigma Chi fraternity

house. Found with a blood-alcohol content of .42, Hammontree marks

the third of four alcohol-related deaths of college students in the

past month, including Samantha Spady of CSU, Lynn Bailey of the

University of Colorado and an unnamed student at the University of


The most shocking coincidence, however, turns out to be that all

four deaths occurred in fraternity houses. While it doesn’t

surprise most people to find out that there is drinking going on in

the Greek community, it does garner extra attention when people

start drinking themselves to death. It also appears that no one has

learned anything from these tragedies (as they damn well


It has become the universities’ responsibility to enforce

tougher regulations and punishments. If fraternities cannot grow up

and encourage responsible alcohol consumption, then start closing

them down, one by one. If individual students can’t learn to drink

responsibly or to tell their friends to stop drinking when they

have had too much, then expel them from school. These suggestions

are not meant just for here at CSU, either. They are for every

college campus in the country. If no one will listen to the lessons

taught by the death of Spady, Bailey, Hammontree and the Arkansas

student, then they must be forced to listen.

Now I am not saying that any one person should be held

responsible after accidents like these, and it would be ridiculous

to place blame on one specific fraternity. It is not ridiculous,

however, to assume that college students are, or should be,

responsible enough to help stop this from continuing.

The university was right in banning beer sales at Sonny Lubick

Field at Hughes Stadium, not because it is an effective means for

curtailing student alcohol consumption, but because it would be

hypocritical not to after recent events. The university was also

right in forming an alcohol task force to investigate the

occurrences here, and I support the same actions being taken at all

universities and colleges. The question of whether this spending is

appropriate becomes quite trivial when it is being spent to prevent

further student deaths.

The next time your friend, fraternity brother, sorority sister,

or just your fellow student has had too much to drink, step in and

say something. Making the kind of decisions a responsible adult

would make is the only way we are going to prevent further tragedy

and prevent the university from enacting even tougher


The fact of the matter is that if you can’t choose to stop

drinking, you are the one throwing your life to the wind. Those

around you and those encouraging you will pay the price later, but

I guarantee that the consequences will not be the same. So do

yourself, your friends and your community a favor and know when to

say when.

Ryan Chapman is a junior marketing major. His column runs every

other Thursday in the Collegian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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