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University of Missouri deals with alcohol-related incidents

December 19, 2016

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Documents obtained by the Columbia Daily Tribune show 16 students who drank at University of Missouri fraternities were taken to hospitals for alcohol poisoning since August 2015.

Those incidents included cases reported to the university police or the Department of Student Life. Records showed six incidents involving an emergency medical response where a student didn’t have to be transported to a hospital, the Daily Tribune (http://j.mp/2hfGWeH ) reported.

Several University of Missouri fraternities are under some form of punishment for violations, including Sigma Phi Epsilon. The fraternity is on probation until mid-May after an underage female student woke up in a hospital after spending two hours at an August party with an open bar. Sigma Phi Epsilon has been given that sanction four times since February.

The Kappa Alpha and Sigma Pi fraternities are no longer recognized by the university.

Mike and Lynn Zingale, parents of a Kappa Alpha member who almost died from alcohol poisoning before being taken to a hospital for treatment, said probation is not enough to protect students. MU often allows fraternities to continue holding events with alcohol even while under probation, which Sigma Pi Epsilon can now do after Friday.

“I am really upset and disturbed by how little MU is doing and they are just not taking this seriously enough,” Lynn Zingale said. “It sounds to me like this is an epidemic.”

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs said safety at the school is the top priority. Scroggs said fraternities must be given a chance to prove responsibility because members change, and many of the violations are not committed by the same individuals.

The school has investigated 25 out of the 27 fraternities examined since August 2015, with six of them on probation until May 2017. Only three of the 16 sororities examined were investigated, and none are on probation.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

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