Chico, California, the town, and Chico State University, have a lethally dangerous drinking problem. UD‘s been following (scroll down for background stories) the several recent alcohol poisoning student deaths there, and Chico State’s years of efforts to make them stop. But it’s an old – a very old – story in Chico, the business of drunk and disorderly. The town’s just like that, and the university conforms to the ways of the town.

This article, in Chico State’s newspaper, describes a community meeting in which a preliminary discussion of solutions took place. The idea is to get town and gown to cooperate… But this will inevitably involve asking Chico’s wall to wall bars to cool it on three for the price of one specials, etc. And UD just doesn’t think that’s going to happen.

Meanwhile, Chico State’s boozy rep precedes it:

“The reputation that the school has received, deserved or not, seems to be affecting the type of students that apply,” [one participant] said, citing … surveys… that show a 13 percent increase of incoming freshmen classified as “high-risk drinkers” over the national average.

Year after year, Chico State admits a lot of freshmen already very serious about their drinking, people who know they can drink in comfort, with plenty of company, on that particular campus. I have no idea how you change this fact.

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And at the University of Virginia, where two students had to be put on life support for alcohol poisoning (both have recovered), the head of the Greek organizations there says:

“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…”

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4 Responses to “Can Chico Change?”

  1. GTWMA Says:

    How quickly they forget:

    http://cornellsun.com/node/17129

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Good point, GTWMA.

  3. GTWMA Says:

    Although it’s not an alcohol poisoning case, there was a rather important death that I think was alcohol-involved, and occurred even more recently at UVa, of course. I believe the young lady’s name was Yeardley Love, correct?

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    I was thinking of Yeardley Love’s death too.

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