Advisory committee has first meeting

Friday, October 15th 2004, 6:11 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ An advisory committee charged with providing University of Oklahoma President David Boren with recommendations on how to curb underage drinking has heard suggestions ranging from barring alcohol from fraternity houses and banning parties by fraternities on weeknights.

The group, formed after the death of a Sigma Chi pledge at OU, had its first private meeting Thursday, Clark Stroud, vice president of student life, confirmed.

The meetings aren't open to the public so that members can discuss the alcohol problem candidly, Stroud said.

Banning alcohol during rush, a drive by fraternities and sororities to recruit new members, was suggested, as was expelling students after a third alcohol violation.

Another suggestion was to require counseling and parental notification when students violate alcohol rules, Boren said.

The committee includes fraternity and sorority officials, the student government president, provost and also the state secretary of health.

Concern about underage drinking arose after the death of 19-year-old Blake Hammontree, a pledge who was found in the Sigma Chi fraternity house last month. Hammontree, of Medford, had an blood-alcohol content of .42, more than five times the amount considered legally intoxicated in Oklahoma.

Students at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and the University of Arkansas also have died alcohol-related deaths recently.