Local News

Students Say Anti-Alcohol Efforts Prove...

Posted October 2, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sophomore was hospitalized Thursday after falling four stories off the ledge of his dorm. Police say he and some other students climbed out on to the ledge to smoke a cigarette after a night of drinking.

Drinking has been long been a part of college life. Recently there has been growing concern over the role alcohol plays in higher education. A few days ago, a student at MIT died of alcohol poisoning. Thursday morning, 18-year-old James Bumgardner fell off a fourth floor ledge at Winston Dorm after drinking with friends. Bumgardner fell onto a tree and onto the ground.

Schools are trying to cut down on alcohol consumption. Last week, Duke University's intrafraternity council voted to ban all alcohol distribution by fraternities. UNC sponsored an alcohol-free party at the beginning of the school year. It's part of an intensive campaign to cut down on school drinking.

UNC officials believe that in order to make progress, there has to be a significant change in the school's total environment.

Students WRAL's Betsy Sykes talked to say many hear the message but choose to ignore it. Senior Eric Wolak says there's no way to get around drinking at a university. Wolak says drinking is everywhere, and there's no way to stop it.

Sophomore Tammy Ashton believes that people going to college are going to drink. Ashton says that despite the University's noble attempt to curb drinking, it hasn't been effective.

Vice Chancellor Floyd says binge drinking is a big problem. Many kids start drinking in junior high school, so by the time they get to college, drinking is already a big problem.

Photographer:Gil Hollingsworth

andKerrie Hudzinski