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Series: Drinking and Safety on College Campuses

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Kristine Guest, age 20, died at Paul Smiths College in 2005
Kristine Guest, age 20, died at Paul Smiths College in 2005

Alcohol-related deaths at Paul Smiths College spark lawsuit, debate

This spring, two Paul Smiths College students died following a late-night drinking party. 20 year-old Sean Cornell of Manchester Center, Vermont, and 18-year-old Lee Walker of Enosburg Falls, Vermont drowned when their canoes overturned. They were paddling back to campus across Lower St. Regis Lake. The tragedy followed three alcohol-related deaths at the school in 2005. Some community leaders say Paul Smiths has made huge strides, working to keep students safe. But the school faces a lawsuit and simmering public criticism over its handling of student alcohol abuse. This week, we'll look at the controversy at Paul Smiths College. We'll also look at the changing ethics of alcohol on college campuses. Here's Brian Mann with part one of our special three-part report.  Go to full article

Over-21 students can be pipeline for campus alcohol abuse

This week, we're looking at the issue of drinking and safety on college campuses. Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne announced last week that criminal charges are still possible following the alcohol-related deaths of two students at Paul Smiths College. Champagne says state police are still investigating the drownings of 20 year-old Sean Cornell and 18 year-old Lee Walker. The students died when their canoes overturned on Lower St. Regis Lake last month as they returned from a party. State police said drinking alcohol contributed to their deaths. Champagne said they're looking into how Cornell, Walker and other underage students at the party obtained alcohol. Yesterday, Brian Mann reported on the controversy surrounding Paul Smiths College, where five young people have died in the last three years. Brian spoke with Paul Smiths President John Mills, who says the school is working hard to keep older students from supplying liquor to friends who are underage.  Go to full article
SLU student Adam Falcon died after a night of drinking in 2004 (Source: SLU website)
SLU student Adam Falcon died after a night of drinking in 2004 (Source: SLU website)

North Country colleges confront "gray zone" between alcohol and adulthood

Paul Smiths College has drawn criticism in recent weeks, following the alcohol-related deaths of two students in May. But academic and law enforcement officials across the region say the problem of underage drinking is complicated, with few easy answers. In the final part of our series on alcohol and campus safety, Brian Mann reports that the debate often winds up in a legal and ethical gray zone.  Go to full article

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 A rash of alcohol-related fatalaties among students at North Country colleges has brought to the fore a debate about the role of alcohol in campus social life, and how educational institutions can best balance the ethical, legal and public safety issues involved in maintaining a community of students, most of whom are underage, but many of whom are of legal age to drink. Brian Mann talks to North Country students, educators, and law enforcement officials in this three-part series.

More on alcohol on North Country campuses (1999 series: Under Our Influence)