Students Put on Life Support from Drinking, UVA Cracks Down

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Two University of Virginia students have recovered after being put on life support for alcohol consumption.  Now the university is cracking down on drinking after what the administration calls an alarming pattern of alcohol related issues in the past week.

Since the end of sorority rush and the beginning of fraternity rush this past week, UVA Student Health reports eight students have been to the emergency room. Of those eight, two were in critical condition and put on a ventilator. 

James Turner, the director of UVA Student Health, says eight students in the ER due to alcohol consumption is within the weekly norm. "Six or 10 is not that unusual. Two admissions for alcohol poisoning maybe is a little bit more than what we would usually see, but we've only had three admissions to the hospital all this year. Last year we had nine," said Turner.

Dean of Students Allen Groves met with fraternity leadership Thursday morning to discuss a plan to attack this problem.  Groves says he told the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) that any number of serious cases, where students were at risk of harm because of alcohol, was unacceptable and could not happen again.

"Student self-governance is really big here, so the administration - essentially they came to us and they said this can't happen, and they really put the ball in our court," said UVA IFC Judiciary Committee Chair Andrew Johnson.

The completely student-run IFC decided  to outlaw hard liquor during the remainder of recruitment, send sober monitors to every fraternity event, and end recruitment for any fraternity that breaks the new rules.

"You hear stories about people dying and thankfully here we've never had that situation, but it's possible. So it's scary, and we're going to take any steps necessary to prevent that from happening," said Johnson.   

Groves says he made it very clear to the students that focusing events around alcohol has to stop. The IFC's changes are temporary. They will make more long-term decisions on how to crack down on drinking after rush is completed.