With the first day of classes less than a week away, Washington State University has a new plan to reduce binge drinking that includes scheduling more Friday morning classes and calling the parents of drunk students.
WSU has been looking for ways to curb underage drinking since last October when a student died of alcohol poisoning.
Freshman Kenneth Hummel, 18, had a blood alcohol level that was five times the legal limit. His death last fall came after three students were injured in alcohol-related falls from buildings in recent months, two at WSU and one at the University of Idaho.
Among the changes, WSU will call parents the first time an underage student violates alcohol and drug policies.
There are also plans to add more alcohol-free floors to residence halls.
The Pullman university will train more students to recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning.
WSU joins 60 other colleges by participating in a “Red Watch Band” program. Students will be given inexpensive watches after they complete a training program on how to respond to signs of alcohol-related emergencies.
Among the more controversial proposals announced, WSU is considering a proposal to gradually phase out fraternity freshman housing.
It also plans to seek approval from the Faculty Senate to schedule more classes on Friday mornings to combat alcohol-fueled, three-day weekends. The idea being, students won’t go out and drink too much if they know they have classes on Friday.
A 2007 study by the University of Missouri found that students were more likely to binge on Thursday nights if they didn’t have classes on Friday.
By LINDA THOMAS
AP contributed to this report