Character in a deadly tale won’t be my fate

College has developed this image of being a place where you are able to drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol because it is accepted amongst the collegiate society. Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to attend the 2015 NCAA APPLE Conference this past weekend.

The main concept of the conference was to educate colleges of all division levels on alcohol and drug abuse. Through keynote speakers, seminars and group discussions I developed a better understanding to the side effects of not just drinking, but the abuse of alcohol.

One of the major contributors to my newly developed view was the story of Gordie Bailey. He died only a month into his freshman year of college at a fraternity party.

Bailey drank like many of college students do, but the only difference is the majority of those students survive. His fraternity blindfolded Bailey and 26 of his pledging brothers and brought them to a campfire in the woods where they were encouraged to drink four handles of whiskey and six bottles of wine in 30 minutes.

The pledges including Bailey were instructed not to leave until they were finished. Bailey was so intoxicated by the time he returned back to the fraternity house that his “brothers” laid him on the couch to “sleep it off.” While he was “sleeping it off” Bailey was written on with markers and left there overnight.

No one checked on him until the morning and by then it was too late. Bailey was left for 10 hours, face down on the floor before he was found dead – at the age of 18.

A foundation was made in honor of Bailey named “Gordie’s Call” intended to educate college campuses and students on the dangers of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse isn’t just the result of over-consuming; it is sometimes the result of hazing and the pressure to fit in.

Hazing is illegal in the NCAA, but that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t happen. The idea of trying to earn the respect of your peers through binge drinking is a ridiculous phenomenon that has taken over too many campuses.

The group that I went to the conference with decided that we wanted to make sure that type of behavior doesn’t occur at Gannon. There have been no reports of hazing on campus in regards to Greek life and athletics, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening under the radar.

The speakers at the conference didn’t tell us that drinking was bad; they told us that in moderation it can be enjoyable rather than deadly.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be an outcast and drink responsibly without pressure than be a character in a deadly story told the next day.



[email protected]