In the predawn hours on Saturday, January 26, University of North Texas student Dustin Starks, 20, fell from the balcony of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house. He survived, but just barely. Nearly two weeks later, he remains at Parkland Hospital in serious condition.
In the wake of the accident, the university has begun to crack down on underage drinking. Campus police issued arrest warrants for several students accused of providing alcohol to Starks and others who were underage. And yesterday, UNT officials took a more drastic step and instituted a blanket ban on alcohol at all fraternity and sorority events. And yes, that includes frat parties.
UNT's decision can be taken in two ways: either its a draconian overcorrection to its tacit acceptance of underage drinking that goes on at every college campus; or it's a ballsy acknowledgment that the problem here isn't that Starks is younger than some arbitrary age but that the college drinking culture is out of control.
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Any push back so far has been muted. UNT's Greek community seems more focused on supporting Starks' recovery (they're selling T-shirts to raise funds) than on what the decision means for their weekend shindigs. That won't last forever.