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Pennsylvania Colleges Take Steps to Reduce Alcohol Use

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A number of colleges in Pennsylvania are taking steps to reduce alcohol use among students, according to the Associated Press.

Bucknell University in Lewisburg has cancelled its annual House Party, a weekend of music, food and partying. In a letter to the campus community, Bucknell President John Bravman said 15 students at last year’s event were hospitalized with blood alcohol levels over 0.239—almost three time the legal definition for drunk driving. Two students had levels higher than 0.30.

“Quite frankly, it was a disaster from my point of view,” he told the AP. “I just can’t believe that anyone would actually argue that this has a mission purpose for this university.”

Temple University in Philadelphia has cancelled its Spring Fling, a decades-old event. Temple’s Dean of Students, Stephanie Ives, said many students used the event as an opportunity to skip class and drink. “Our academic mission was being undermined” by the behavior, she said, adding that student health was also a major concern. This year, a female student visiting Temple during Spring Fling died after falling from a rooftop party, in what appeared to be an accident.

Pennsylvania State University paid 34 bars and restaurants $167,000 to not serve alcohol during last spring’s student-organized “State Patty’s Day.” A task force at the University of Pennsylvania is evaluating the school’s alcohol and safety policies.

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among full-time college students in 2012, 60.3 percent were current drinkers, 40.1 percent were binge drinkers, and 14.4 percent were heavy drinkers.

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