The male student, found in critical condition, is expected to recover fully. A male University freshman suffering from alcohol poisoning was hospitalized in critical condition early yesterday morning, marking the most serious known alcohol-related incident of the academic year. According to University Police Chief Maureen Rush, the student -- who is expected to recover fully -- was in extremely poor condition when paramedics arrived at the scene and extensive measures had to be taken to stabilize him before he was transported to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia paramedics and University Police officers responded to the location in an unspecified Quadrangle residence after they were alerted by a call at about 3 a.m. "Fire and rescue took him to HUP and he was then transferred to the intensive care unit," Rush said. "[The paramedics] had to take some extreme measures to make sure he was OK." The student was unconscious for much of yesterday, regaining consciousness later in the afternoon. "I'm very pleased to report that he is conscious and they're going to keep him overnight to keep an eye on him," Associate Vice Provost for University Life Juana Lewis said yesterday. "We're out of the woods from a medical perspective." Police and University officials said they will now begin investigating where the 18-year-old freshman acquired a quantity of alcohol large enough to endanger his life. "If we have students who are getting into these dangerous underage drinking situations, then the people who are supplying the alcohol are responsible," Rush said. "We will be working with VPUL to determine how an underage person got that drunk." She added, however, that University Police have no intention of prosecuting the student or any individuals who may have been with him. "We're not looking to do any prosecution of him or anyone else," Rush said. "No one should ever think that if they're with someone who is intoxicated they should be concerned about getting in trouble for reporting that person is sick. Our goal is not getting people in trouble, it's saving their lives." Yesterday's incident is the most severe alcohol-related incident of the 11 known hospitalizations since September. Excessive drinking has been a major issue at Penn over the past few years, especially since the death of 1994 College graduate Michael Tobin after an alcohol-induced fall down a set of stairs at the former Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house last March. Tobin's death ignited a campus-wide debate on the University's alcohol policy, which was significantly revised by a group of administrators and students last spring. Following yesterday's incident, Alcohol Policy Coordinator Stephanie Ives expressed concern for the student involved but confidence that problems involving alcohol abuse are being effectively curbed at the University. "We're very, very concerned about him and his family and friends and how the community will deal with this," Ives said. "We're continuing on our path in bringing about cultural change and doing what we can to prevent these kinds of episodes in the future."Comments powered by Disqus
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