Nation in brief

Drinking deaths plague colleges nationwide

(U-WIRE) BOULDER, Colo. – The 2004-05 school year for college students may turn out to be unprecedented, but not in a way anyone would ever hope for. Since the first weekend in September, at least six students across the nation have drunk themselves to death, just three less than the total for last year.

According to University of Colorado-Boulder Wardenburg Health Center’s lead physician, Tom Kunstman, alcohol poisoning deaths for college students are becoming more of a problem.

“There’s at least six but there’s no place that’s actually keeping data on alcohol deaths,” Kunstman said, pointing out that the national media has even had trouble keeping track of all the incidences.

He said, “Even USA Today right now has an article talking about five deaths, but they didn’t have the one from San Diego.”

It all started in Colorado when 19-year-old Samantha Spady was found dead in Colorado State University’s Sigma Pi house with a blood alcohol level of .436 percent on Sept. 5. Then 18-year-old Lynn Gordon Bailey was found dead with a .328 level in the CU-Boulder Chi Psi house Sept. 17.

After that, there were a rash of incidences around the nation. On Sept. 19, a 23-year-old at Virginia Tech University died of apparent alcohol poisoning in his off-campus house, and on Sept. 25, a San Diego State University student died in that campus’ Delta Sigma Phi house from apparent binge drinking.

So why don’t students these days know when to stop drinking?

According to Kunstman, one reason is that the “norm” has become much higher than it was a generation ago, pointing out quaffing rituals such as drinking 21 shots on one’s 21st birthday.

“After a certain number drinks, which is about five to eight, there’s not much to be gained by drinking more,” Kunstman said. “We need to change expectations; to somehow get back to five to eight drinks is ‘okay.’ If people stopped somewhere in the five to 10 range, they’d still get the positives.”

Porn addict speaks at Kent U.

(U-WIRE) KENT, Ohio – A man who consumed pornography for years, spent time in jail, visited strip clubs and prostitutes and admits to a sexual encounter with his sister while a teenager, spoke to students Monday night in the Ballroom at Kent State University.

The “Power of Porn” was presented by Gene McConnell, who talked about his addiction to pornography and about the effects of the pornography industry. Kimberly Drake also spoke about her years addicted to pornography and working as a dancer in a strip club.

Both McConnell and Drake said they don’t support censorship, and their goal was to tell their stories and create conversation about how pornography affects everyone.

McConnell first presented clips of what Kent State students had to say about porn. He then presented statistics about how much money is spent on pornography and shared his personal story of discovering pornography at the age of 12 and how it affected the decisions he made for years.

“The greatest harm that porn can communicate is that the value of a person is on the outside,” McConnell said.

-compiled by Michael Barnett

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