LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) -- The interim president for the University of Idaho says the school is hiring additional staff, tightening up drug and alcohol use policies and enforcing restrictions on fraternity and sorority programs at the Moscow campus.
Don Burnett told the Idaho State Board of Education about the changes on Thursday during a meeting in Pocatello. The recommendations came from two task forces formed by former UI President Duane Nellis after a student died of hypothermia following a fraternity party in January. Eighteen-year-old Joseph Wiederrick froze to death under a bridge after he apparently got drunk and became disoriented while walking home. Police said his blood-alcohol level was 0.17 at the time of his death, more than twice the legal limit to drive in Idaho.
Burnett says college students drinking to excess is a public health crisis.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that each year, fellow students who have been drinking assault nearly 700,000 students, 400,000 have unprotected sex while drunk, almost 600,000 are injured, and some 1,825 students die due to alcohol poisoning and alcohol related accidents.