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 Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

 In the interest of fostering discussion on current campus topics, I'd like to share the following message from Ron Stump, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Bringing the Campus Together on an Issue That Affects Us All
By Ron Stump, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

A remembrance of Gordie Bailey was recently held on campus and at the former Chi Psi house. Gordie Bailey is the student who died Sept. 17, 2004, of alcohol poisoning following a pledge initiation activity.

The remembrance was not only about Gordie, his qualities, and the loss to his family as well as to all of us. The remembrance was also about the need for leadership on alcohol abuse. During the weekend activities, much attention was given to the changes that are needed to bring about a transformation in our society and on our campus related to alcohol abuse. This issue transcends the fraternity system, although fraternities as well as others are often the site of such dangerous behavior.

A particular aspect that was repeatedly mentioned was the promotion of alcohol. For example, the promotion of alcohol is found in:

  • the marketing of alcohol as a critical component to good times
  • the growth of liquor licenses around our campus and the resultant pressure on the license holder to sell alcohol to anyone with an ID
  • the mythic stories that are told by older folks, including parents, about their alcohol-induced good times as college students
  • a perception that if drinking alcohol is fun, then drinking great quantities must be even more fun

Daily, we see the aftermath of alcohol abuse in our residence halls, our classrooms, the neighborhoods and the stories in newspapers. As a campus, we need to do better. We each need to take responsibility for intervening where harmful behavior may occur or has the potential to occur. We need to realize behavior that is harmful to a member(s) of our community is potentially harmful to all of us.

In response to this issue and at the request of the Boulder Faculty Assembly and the Division of Student Affairs, Chancellor DiStefano is charging a group composed of faculty, students and staff to study this issue and present a White Paper on student alcohol abuse and related problems. The study will be a comprehensive review of current data, initiatives, and results and will make recommendations to bring about change where needed. The White Paper is expected to be completed Spring 2006. This study has the potential of effectively bringing the campus together on an issue that affects us all.

In Gordie Bailey's death, we have lost a student and his potential contribution to our campus and ultimately to our society. We must not also lose the moment to transform our campus into a safer and responsible community for all.

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