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Archive for Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Father blames alcohol for KU student’s death

Jason Wren with his father, Jay.

Jason Wren with his father, Jay.

March 10, 2009, 12:00 a.m. Updated March 10, 2009, 11:43 a.m.

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Jason Wren with family.

Jason Wren with family.

The father of a Kansas University freshman who was found dead Sunday at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house says alcohol is to blame.

Jason Christopher Wren, 19, was found dead shortly after 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the fraternity, 1301 West Campus Road.

Multiple officers and paramedics responded to the house after someone found Wren unresponsive, Lawrence police said. Capt. Ray Urbanek said that Wren went to bed Saturday night and did not wake up Sunday morning.

The Shawnee County Coroner’s Office in Topeka said Monday that it had completed an autopsy on Wren, but did not release results. Lawrence police said they were awaiting the results.

However, the teen’s father said Monday that Jason Wren, a former Arapahoe High School honor student, drank heavily before he died.

“One week of fraternity living killed him,” Jay Wren told The Denver Post. “He overdrank. Kids have got to understand alcohol is the worst.”

Friends set up a Facebook group in his memory.

Friends from middle school, high school and college all have posted memories and thoughts on the page.

Jay Wren said Lawrence police told him Jason went with friends to a restaurant Saturday evening and drank margaritas. Jason then returned to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house and had 10 to 12 beers and some whiskey, Jay Wren said.

Jason eventually passed out, and his fraternity brothers put him to bed, his father said. He then stumbled out of bed, and his fraternity brothers put him back in bed.

Brandon Weghorst, spokesman for Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national headquarters, said Jason Wren was a new member, and national SAE staffers were in Lawrence investigating the death, along with SAE alumni who live in the area.

He said Sigma Alpha Epsilon policies warn members to be alert for the signs of overdrinking, and each chapter is expected to adhere to local campus rules and state law concerning alcohol.

Jay Wren said his son moved in to the SAE house a couple of weeks ago after getting kicked out of his KU dorm for drinking and other violations.

Meanwhile, friends in Colorado remembered Jason Wren as a well-liked guy who enjoyed sports.

“I would call him determined, tough, fearless,” said Mike Campbell, Arapahoe High assistant principal and varsity football coach. Wren played baseball and lacrosse, and lettered for three years as a defensive back on the school’s football team.

“He was a lovable person,” Campbell said. “Everyone liked being around him."

Wren, a pre-business major, was a midfielder on the KU Men’s Lacrosse Club.

Comments

Danimal 5 years, 9 months ago

Man, that's tragic. Sounds like if somebody would have kept a closer eye on him he would have been wildly hungover the next day, but alive. We used to do that in the Marines, every once in a while you would be the one who was stuck watching the guys who drank too much and it was your job to make sure that they didn't do something too stupid and get hurt, and also that they puked, drank water and maybe ate something. Then we'd all wake up around 8 or 9 (assuming we had actually gone to sleep) and eat a bunch of eggs or something. Sounds like (based on my experiences of a misspent youth) he might have gotten up to go puke or something, but they put him back to bed.

I guess we'll have to wait for the autopsy results to find out what happened for sure though. It's always a very sad thing when young people die.

KS 5 years, 9 months ago

Nineteen years of age? Where did he get the booze? I realize he did this to himself, but obviously he had help. A very tragic event that some people will have to live with for a very long time.

jonas_opines 5 years, 9 months ago

“He overdrank. Kids have got to understand alcohol is the worst.”

With all due respect to the loss, kids have to understand that the consumption of huge amounts of alcohol is the worse, but in moderation is not so bad. Making it a 0 or 1 equation is part of the problem with alcohol consumption in our society, I opine.

davidsmom 5 years, 9 months ago

So tell me, how do you teach people where to draw the line? And why should they draw a line? Can anyone seriously tell me when drinking has EVER resulted in anything good that couldn't have happened without it? Why do you have to do it at all?

jaywalker 5 years, 9 months ago

This, of course, is sad. I question the reports of 'a couple margheritas and 10-12 beers'. If this kid has been a heavy drinker before, and it sounds like he has, I don't think that'd be lethal.

davidsmom, With all due respect, save the lances, you're tilting at windmills.

jonas_opines 5 years, 9 months ago

I would say you start teaching people by not freaking out about the consumption of alcohol, and perhaps even guide your children by allowing them a bit in special circumstances, etc, to attempt to show them moderation.

It is a social facilitator to some extent. It can loosen an atmosphere and get people talking or interacting at social gatherings, where otherwise they might be too uptight. That's been its practical function, other than as a surrogate for water, for a long time.

Your last question tells me that you don't drink and have a strong opinion on it, so I doubt I'll come up with anything you'll accept. The bottom line is that we Do do it. We can either close our eyes or we can try and do it responsibly. It seems like an easy choice to me, once you accept the inevitability of its existence. The time we tried to make it illegal, it caused many more problems than it solved.

sustainabilitysister 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm terribly sorry for the loss of Jason Wren. My thoughts go out to all that loved and knew him. We must do a better job of educating communities on the dangers associated with alcohol. We must speak of the specifics and what amount of alcohol one may consume to be considered lethal and what the signs are associated with alcohol poisoning. The focus group should be individuals in junior high through college. It would be great if the SAE house could start a community outreach program of this nature and educate other students at KU and Haskell, and/or the local schools on the dangers associated with alcohol. Education is the key!

middlemgmt 5 years, 9 months ago

I am so sorry for the loss this family is feeling. This is a perfect example of why the drinking age needs to stay the same. Young adults (19) are not ready for the responsibility of drinking in moderation.

jonas_opines 5 years, 9 months ago

"This is a perfect example of why the drinking age needs to stay the same."

Because under the current age, kids are drinking illegally and occasionally dying from it? Generally, shouldn't problems and tragedies alert us of a need to change, not a need to stay the same?

compmd 5 years, 9 months ago

"Father blames alcohol..."

Dear father, its not the alcohol's fault your son was irresponsible and managed to kill himself. Its his own fault. Also, it might even be your own for not teaching your child true responsibility as part of your parenting. If Jason had overdosed on cocaine, would you blame the cocaine? What about if he drank drain cleaner?

People take blame, especially when they made a choice, a conscious decision. If Jason was 19 and getting drinks at a restaurant, he was criminally negligent with his own life. You also underhandedly blame the fraternity by saying, "One week of fraternity living killed him." How someone lives in a fraternity is a choice. If someone chooses to drink themselves into a stupor (or death) that's their own fault. With your attitude of blame shifting and trying to absolve both your son and yourself of any responsibility for Jason's actions, its no wonder your son was not able to handle safe consumption of alcohol.

ehwhatever 5 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Hoots 5 years, 9 months ago

middlemgmt. Actually, the 21 year old drinking age has been a complete failure. When I was in high school the drinking age changed from 18 to 21. I was allowed to drink 3.2 beer legally for 11 months but was then grandfathered out. The one thing I noticed was the kids went from drinking only beer to hard alcohol. The kids had the attitude that if they were going to get drinks it might as well be the most bang for the buck. This resulted it teenagers getting much drunker and abusing alcohol on a new level.

I have spent time in many counrties that don't share our views on drinking and don't make it the forbidden fruit we do. What I see there is kids drink at a later age and I didn't see the binge drinking I see in our culture. Alcohol is everywhere in our society yet we do a horrible job of teaching kids to be reponsible with it. Just saying no never has worked or ever will. That whole campaign was a nice catchy phrase but was a huge failure in our schools..

http://news.aol.com/article/drinking-age-lowered-dui/353317

always_correct 5 years, 9 months ago

hey ehwhatever:

If you're going to make an inappropriate sarcastic comment referring to natural selection, maybe you should actually understand it, you jackass. go read a book. Or more specifically, "On the Origin of Species".

jonas_opines 5 years, 9 months ago

"No offense to Dad"

Generally, when you start with something like this, you probably just shouldn't say the last part.

julz 5 years, 9 months ago

He was underage - what restaurant served him?

whatatown 5 years, 9 months ago

Sustainabilitysister---

There is no way to educate on the amount of alcohol that may be lethal to a person. A persons build, previous drinking patterns and genetics all have a play. A 5'4" 115 pound girl can't drink nearly as much as a 6'0" 220 pound guy. If someone has a disease or a condition one drink could kill them. There's just no way to educate on how much alcohol is okay. The best way to prevent tragedies such as this one is...prevention. The kid was 19 years old and shouldn't have been drinking to begin with. Fraternities should be held to the social hosting law...and every person in that house who is of age and was in attendance should be charged with the $1000 fine and the possible year in jail. The only way to change these behaviors is with enforcement of existing laws, and obviously Lawrence and Campus police turn the other eye when it comes to frat parties.

Linda Aikins 5 years, 9 months ago

I think it is the media's phrase "alcohol is/was to blame". We don't know if his father actually used that word.

Please - I'm sure he feels so guilty right now that having others also point the finger at this horrible horrible time in his life is quite inhumane.

You make good points, jonas. Please same them for later.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 9 months ago

"Jason went with friends to a restaurant Saturday evening and drank margaritas"

Somebody is in trooooooouble. Do you think the grieving dad isn't going to sue?

asleepinthechapel 5 years, 9 months ago

KS and julz -

If you're asking where he got (at least some) of his alcohol -

"Jay Wren said Lawrence police told him Jason went with friends to a restaurant Saturday evening and drank margaritas. "

The answer is - the same place all the other underage drinkers go to get margaritas. I know the restaurant that served him was not the only supplier, nor likely the majority supplier. But they supplied him, just like they do all the other underage kids.

This is a tragic event and I hope that ABC or the LPD take note of the fact that this young man started the evening he lost his life at a local establishment that cares more about the bar tab than the lives of youth.

sarahsmilehawk 5 years, 9 months ago

It doesn't sound like that amount of alcohol would kill someone who seems to be a heavy drinker and, I would guess, is not a small guy (based on the football/lacrosse). But I guess "some" whiskey could mean a lot of things.

This is very sad.

MOMto3 5 years, 9 months ago

There are many reasons the legal drinking age should remain 21 but the most important are for the health and well being of our children. Here are some facts I found about drinking.

The younger a person begins using alcohol, the greater the chance of developing alcohol dependence or abuse some time in their life. Of those who begin drinking at age-18, 16.6% subsequently are classified with alcohol dependence and 7.8% with alcohol abuse. If a person waits until age-21 before taking their first drink, these risks decrease by over 60%.(15) The earlier a person begins using alcohol, the greater the risk of current and adult drug use(16, 17) and harm to the developing brain.(18) Between 1979 and 1984, the suicide rate was 9.7% greater among adolescents and young adults who could legally consume alcohol than among their peers who could not.(19) Using national data on alcohol and drug use among high school seniors from 1976 - 1987, one study found a decrease in marijuana use associated with increases in the MLPA.(20) In raising the MLPA from 18 to 21, states observed an average 16% decrease in the rate of vandalism arrests, compared to an average 1.7% increase in states with a constant MLPA of 18.(21)

Kirk Larson 5 years, 9 months ago

I have friends who grew up in Europe (AF brats). There, as kids, they were allowed to drink small glasses of wine with dinner. They learned that alcohol could be enjoyed in moderation. In America, alcohol is forbidden fruit, as it were. Kids (myself included) learned that alcohol was to be acquired surreptitiously, drunk in large quantities, in order to achieve drunkenness.

ictgal 5 years, 9 months ago

Condolences to Jason's family. It's hard to lose a child. The article says, "Jay Wren said his son moved in to the SAE house a couple of weeks ago after getting kicked out of his KU dorm for drinking and other violations." KU Housing was obviously aware of Jason's problems. Too bad they couldn't get him some counseling. 19 yr. old kids need guidance away from school. Colleges help kids adjust all the time. They need to help the ones they know have problems. Some kids have very strict parents in high school and then get away and go overboard. This may or may not have happened but he needed help. KU knew about his problems and knowing how KU Housing just kicks you out for infractions..they should now know that a human life is worth more than that.

whatatown 5 years, 9 months ago

kungfumastah-

Your comment is from personal experience and has absolutely no founding behind it. Fine- your parents let you consume alcohol at age 13 when it has been proven that consuming alcohol at young ages has many medical affects on a child development. It affects their memory, learning abilities, ambition, social standing in schools, possible legal issues, and I could keep going on. SOOOOOOOO....the fact that your parents let you drink DOES NOT mean that we should legally open this flood gate to others. By lowering the drinking age to 18 we are opening the door to kids starting to drink at a younger and younger age. The average age now that kids try their first drink of alcohol is 12...lowering the drinking age to 18 is going to open that up to what...trying your first drink at 8? You are proposing that we allow young people to provide themselves with the most deadly drug on the market. That's right...more people die from either alcohol poisoning or alcohol related crashes each year that any other disease or drug could ever do.

The argument that someone can go fight for their country but not have a beer is so old and completely asinine. What that really means is that an 18 year old can go over, be brainwashed and do what they are told. That DOES NOT mean that they can be charged with making appropriate decisions when on a mind altering substance. It is obvious from the case at hand that people under the age of 21 (and over, I will grant that) don't know their stopping point. But to allow legal easy access alcohol is absolutely not the way to decrease the amount of alcohol related injuries and deaths.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 9 months ago

From the time the breaking news article showed up on this I knew this kid had died of alcohol poisoning. I used to work in the hospital of a university town. it was twenty years ago but I imagine things are no different now. We had a smallish 6 bed ICU. Every weekend , and I mean every weekend, that school was in session at least two of those beds were taken up by college kids who drank until they stopped breathing. We'd vent them overnight until they sobered up enough to start fighting the respirator then pull the ET tube and keep an eye on them for another couple of hours. In the morning we would discharge them straight from the ICU, hung over and with a sore throat from the tube but alive. These kids simply do not realize that alcohol is a drug. A legal, recreational drug, albeit, but still a drug. It depresses the central nervous system in much the same way opiates, morphine and the like do. You can overdose on alcohol like any other narcotic and when you do, again like any other narcotic, you stop breathing.

katjok 5 years, 9 months ago

I think more than fraternity/sorority members binge drink, it seems like most students do in college. I give condolences to the family. I think it would be foolish to sue anyone, even if they provided alcohol to an underage person, because no one wins in this situation. The dad lost his son, fraternity members lost their brother, KU lost a student, a lot of people lost a friend. I do hope that students and people everywhere learn from this experience, and not try to get black-out drunk.

Janet Lowther 5 years, 9 months ago

Further evidence that the present system of alcohol control for those in the 18-20 age range is not working.

You never heard about this sort of thing back when 18-year-olds could legally drink 3.2% beer. It is very hard to drink enough of that stuff to get alcohol poisoning.

Indeed, prohibition does not work, be it total, as it was between 1919 and 1933, or age-based as it is now.

Indeed, the prohibition of recreational drugs has worked little better than that of alcohol did.

ThoughtPonderer 5 years, 9 months ago

This is such a waste of a young life. Granted, he may have made the choice to drink, but someone was serving him and/or purchasing the beer/whiskey for him. There is a lot of negligence in responsibility in this whole situation, but the bottom line is a 19-year-old young man lost his life and has left many loved ones and friends grieving for him. My thoughts and prayers are with them. God bless you all in this difficult time.

feeble 5 years, 9 months ago

ictgal (Anonymous) says… The article says, “Jay Wren said his son moved in to the SAE house a couple of weeks ago after getting kicked out of his KU dorm for drinking and other violations.” KU Housing was obviously aware of Jason's problems. Too bad they couldn't get him some counseling. ============================ It actually takes a pretty amazing amount of misbehavior to get kicked out of the dorms. Mr. Wren would have had to be caught drinking several times, and would have been sanctioned, which involves interviews with his RA and Dorm administrator, upper level Student Housing admins and possibly a council of students.

He would have been asked to attend informational sessions on the dangers of drinking, and possibly other measures, such as spending Friday night with the front desk staff, rather than going out partying.

If you've gotten kicked out of student housing, you've had to seriously work at it.

flutter 5 years, 9 months ago

ictgal: KU does offer counseling, but nobody, KU-affiliated or not, has the power to force anyone into counseling. The individual has to choose to go to counseling. The resources are there, but nobody can be forced to use them. Besides, we know nothing about whether he did get counseling or not. Maybe he did.

compmd: It's also not the father's fault. Again, no one can control another person. We know nothing about how Wren was parented. And even if he had been parented to whatever standards you deem appropriate, he is still an individual with free will who will make his own choices. No amount of what you deem "correct" parenting would definitively cause him to not drink. Again, nobody can make anybody do anything else. And advice does not always mean that the individual will act on it.

I just don't understand the urge some people feel to write the sort of comments that appear here, especially comments that assume so much that the writer simply does not know. It says more about the comment-makers than the individuals involved in the situation or the situation itself. I wish people would get over themselves and THINK before they comment.

bangaranggerg 5 years, 9 months ago

A tragic death like this makes me wonder if alcohol is somehow more dangerous than marijuana. That, and the analysis of every single study and statistic ever related to studying the dangers of said substances. I think I'm leaning towards "alcohol is significantly more dangerous to the individual and society at large."

Asclepio 5 years, 9 months ago

This is a horrible tragedy and I send my condolences to the family.

Reading through the discussion board there appears to be a common misconception that frequent consumption of alcohol changes the dose of alcohol required to be lethal. This is not true. If you took two identical twins with the same height, weight and build, one never having had alcohol and the other an alcoholic and gave them the same minimum lethal dose of alcohol there would be no difference in their results.

Tolerance to most of the effects of alcohol does develop with frequent use, but the lethal dose does not change. This creates a potentially dangerous situation as a frequent consumer can get closer to a lethal dose with less impairment. Vomiting is a fairly effective way to remove excess alcohol from the body. If this response threshold is raised the alcohol won’t be removed.

Alcohol used responsibly is okay. Part of being responsible is knowing all of the facts before use. You are your best advocate.

Mary Darst 5 years, 9 months ago

Has anyone ever lived with an alcoholic person in their family? I'm guessing that most of you do now or at least know someone that is ... I understand that a drink can make some people more comfortable at a social event. I see the point of teaching your children that alcohol is not the forbidden fruit. That, it is, ok, to have a glass of wine with their dinner. I understand that people in other countries may have a different view on the way they drink and socialize. But, with some, not all, that one experience can lead to a lifetime of disease. For these people alcohol is the answer to all their problems. It opens them up, It can give them"courage" they would not have while sober, It can make all their problems disappear. It masks depression, (even tho it is a depressant), and peer pressure certainly plays a big part in whether a kid "parties". There is so much pressure on everyone to "fit" in. I find that even in my adult life that the same peer pressure is still there. We need to teach our kids that they are wonderful the way they are and to be self assured enough to make the right decisions. Now, you are probably thinking I am totally against drinking, that's not the case. I do like a little tottie every now and again myself. But the fact remains alcohol is a problem....I do not know what the answer is, I'm sure this Dad would have liked to know. It seems that nothing is done till it is too late.

Bud Stagg 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey Ocean, To follow your logic, then the KU Dorm he came from should be shut down too. I imagine there was alcohol served to him there too.

Once again this is a case of personal responsibility. He was underage for drinking but over 18 and legally able to make decisions. Quit pointing fingers. This is a tragic loss. The parents should have gotten a clue and done something when the student was kicked out of the dorm. Who paid for him to live in the Frat? Might as well have rented him a room above a liquor store.

People died from alcohol related deaths when the drinking age was 18 and after. Maybe the problem is not age, but education. Put the age back to 18 and spend our energy on education.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 9 months ago

This is a tragic event but why are people assuming the restaurant didn't card him? Maybe he had a fake id or was sitting next to a 21 year-old and drinking his drink while the staff wasn't looking. If the restaurant didn't card him, then yes they should be in trouble, but don't point fingers until we know the facts.

deskboy04 5 years, 9 months ago

This is a sad story. I feel so sorry for the parents of the young man.

dweezil222 5 years, 9 months ago

MacHeath (Anonymous) says…

It appears, not only that he had a problem, but was trying to prove himself to his frat buddies. What a shame. The guys with him that night share some responsibility for his death. You are supposed to watch out for your friends. Fraternity indeed.

================================

You can only do so much as a fraternity brother. If someone really wants to drink, they're going to find a way to do it. About all you can do is what these guys did, which was take him to bed and try to make sure he didn't drink any more. And quite frankly, I always felt safer drinking around my frat brothers. I knew they would tell me when I was starting to act like an ass and would help me get to someplace safe.

Pat Long 5 years, 9 months ago

From the little bit of history offered, I think the habits were established long before university. In time, some may be able to take a honest look at the situation. The grief is too fresh to allow objectivity.

50YearResident 5 years, 9 months ago

This accident should have never happened. The Frat Brothers are responsible for not getting this young man to the emergency room. If they had he would now still be alive with a giant hangover. Looks like a lawsuit event to me. A needless tragedy.

jonas_opines 5 years, 9 months ago

Gootsie: Oh, I'm done for the day. I would put forward the suggestion, though, that even as a grieving family member, once you put forward an opinion assigning blame, you have put yourself in the position to have opinion considered, criticized or challenged. Sort of like that Cindy Sheehan character.

/though of course, this is nowhere near That intensity

mdfraz 5 years, 9 months ago

First off, this is a very sad thing, and blaming people, be it the restaurant, fraternity, dad, or the kid himself obviously won't bring him back.

But, compmd, I agree with you. I know dad is grieving and upset, but saying "one week in a fraternity killed him" is ridiculous. The kid got KICKED OUT of the dorm for drinking; this wasn't a new issue for him. Maybe his parents knew about that, maybe not, but as parents, they should have. And the point is, he wasn't exercising personal responsibility and the parents are now blaming others.

Mom, I'm not saying your stats are incorrect, but what do they consider "starting to drink"? Is it in moderation or going to parties and getting wasted? If it's in moderation, I'm sure that there are fewer potential alcoholics. If kids are 14 when they start to get wasted, then yes, there's a pretty good chance for them to become alcoholics. Alcohol, like guns, or cars, or anything else that people like to badmouth when bad things happen, is not evil or good in and of itself. It's how it's used. There are a whole lot of things if used incorrectly or in excess that can be dangerous or deadly. There is nothing at all wrong with using alcohol appropriately and in moderation.

Whatatown, the point of the drinking age being 18 instead of 21 isn't JUST that a person can be killed in a war at 18 (after being "brainwashed"). It's that in basically every other aspect of their lives, they are considered an adult at that point. They can go into the military (which apparently you don't favor), they can enter into contracts, they can get married, they are considered emancipated from their parents, etc. etc. etc. I'm not necessarily advocating lowering the drinking age but the point is valid.

For the people who are condemning the restaurant/bar that served him.....do they have a responsibility not to serve minors? Absolutely. However, how many college students have fake ID's? Some of them are VERY good, and even if the wait staff and other employees are trained to recognize fakes, sometimes that's just not possible for someone who isn't an expert. I don't know if he had a fake. I don't know if someone was buying for him. I don't know if the server just gave him alcohol without checking his ID. But the bottom line is, unless you were there, you don't know either.

Again, it comes down to personal responsibility. It's horribly sad that this happened, and maybe his frat buddies should have taken better care of him, but he chose to drink that much. Unfortunately it's a mistake he can't take back.

akt2 5 years, 9 months ago

I thank the parents for letting the public know exactly what happened. The truth is out and there can be no attempt at a cover up. This is the cold hard truth as to what can happen.

OwlHead 5 years, 9 months ago

Legalize marijuana. If he had smoked a hogleg eralier in the night he wouldn't have wanted to drink that much.

shoffner 5 years, 9 months ago

Maybe if the liquor stores and bars in Lawrence would stop serving every kid with a fake ID and a fistful of cash, this type of stuff wouldn't happen. I suggest we truly crackdown on the providers and the problems will start to dwindle. I know for fact that if you have money, are a pretty girl, or know the right guy, you pretty much just have to hand any ID to the doorman at about half the bars in town. Also, I can't count how many times I see a guy walk in to a liquor store to buy hundreds of dollars worth in booze only to bring it back out to the buddies waiting outside in the car.

5 years, 9 months ago

blaming the greek system is just as stupid as his dad blaming alcohol. the kid got kicked out of his dorm for drinking-his fraternity gave him a roof over his head. yes, there should have probably been some supervision of a roommate or elder, but it's not the fraternities fault the kid drank a lot. and as far as underage margaritas....um, that fine establishment has been doing it since i was in college, and high school for that matter, for over 10 years.

mom_of_three 5 years, 9 months ago

very true, akt2. It's a tragic situation and no one knows what really happened.

mom_of_three 5 years, 9 months ago

From Denver post - "Jason Wren did drink in high school, but it was always with nice kids, Jay Wren said. In hindsight, said Wren, he should have had "zero tolerance" for alcohol for his son. " http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_11874855

Random56 5 years, 9 months ago

I think the drinking age should be raised. Most people aren't even mature at 21. alcohol is a deadly drug, more people died from drunken driving than died in Iraq last year, but where were the protests for that? There are more alcoholics than crackheads running around.

Jandana 5 years, 9 months ago

Parents, do your jobs WHILE your kids are living under your roofs. Once they go to college, it's too late. IF you feel that your job is not done, keep your child close to you. For this young man, the drinking age limit could be 30, and it wouldn't have made a difference. Sounded like he needed an intervention.

Allowing an alcoholic to be in a fraternity after he was kicked out of a dorm for alcohol problems is like playing with matches while filing your car up with gas.

The 21 legal age limit is absurd. PLEASE go back to 3.2 at 18. http://www.chooseresponsibility.org/

AT LEAST there's: -- somewhat of adult supervision at bars -- the bar actually closes -- time will pass between when the bar closes and going to bed -- the drinking is more than 10 feet away from bedrooms (speaking from the perspective of a Mom with a daughter)

Lesson to the SAE rush chair: stay away from kids kicked out of dorms for alcohol abuse.

bretherite 5 years, 9 months ago

UMM the father admits the young man drank in high school. His comment "but it was with nice kids" Define nice kid. I know several of the SAE kids and they are nice kids from nice families. They get/got good grades Living in a fraternity for one week killed him doesn't seem to hit the problem that this young man had a major problem before he moved into the fraternity house. I am sorry for the loss for the family as well as the SAE fraternity. But I think the dad needs to look at his statements before he lays blame.

My son is in a fraternity and I am very aware of the parties that go on. I know on many occasions my son has called to texted me to say he was "babysitting" fraternity brothers or providing safe rides to girls who were too drunk to make it home.

I think it is a matter of how it is handled at home with teaching your kid about alchol. My son has said that the ones with the problems who drink every weekend are those whose parents did not let them drink or teach them about the responsibility of drinking. THere are 4 guys who had parents who allowed them to try alcohol at family events and they are the 4 who don't abuse it and end up taking care of the others who do abuse it.

I think the other countries have this one right. lower the drinking age and allow parents to teach responsibity by taking the mystery out of it.

Randall Uhrich 5 years, 9 months ago

I joined a fraternity at Kansas State in 1966, and at that time they already had a city ordinance and university regulation prohibiting alcohol on fraternity property. How many deaths and overdoses will exceed the tolerance level for KU and Lawrence before sensible changes are made? To me, even ONE preventable death is too many.

pills4profit 5 years, 9 months ago

When will you morons understand it doesnt matter if the drinking limit is 16 18 21 or 31 people are going to drink if they want to. The only way to thwart these kind of tradgeties is to teach kids at a younger age how to be responsible with alcohol. My friends and I started drinking around 17 and were absolutely the most irresponsible people ever with alcohol. And it was completely due to the fact it was the "forbidden fruit," but after a few years the allure of it all went away and we all went to college. Only once i was in college did i realize how irresponsible people were; i can't count the number of times someone would be completely trashed, barfing etc. at a party only to find out it was there first time to drink. The problem is kids get to college and don't have someone looking over there shoulder and they get carried away. For all you people clamering that the drinking age shouldn't be lowered are completely out of touch. Education and a first hand experience with alcohol under the supervision of someone responsible is the only way to stop these types of incidents from occuring.

Serenity Walters 5 years, 9 months ago

Can someone tell me what resturant this is so my son doesnt go.................

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 9 months ago

compmd and mdfraz - I'm sure the father is aware that his son is ultimately responsible for his actions. Yeah, we all know that no one in Lawrence really cards seriously. Yeah, we know that KU is a party school. Yeah, we know that frat parties are alcohol-poisonings waiting to happen. But we also have to realize this father was being interviewed within 24 hours of learning of his 19-year-old (and by the family photo, only) son's death. A child dying before his or her parent is unnatural and unbearable. This man has the right to blame whomever or whatever he wants right now. I doubt the reality has set in yet. So back the freak off.

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 9 months ago

myopinionmatters - as a girl who attended her fair share of frat parties in her day, I would imagine that bretherite's son isn't trying to get the drunk girls in the back seat, stay at their place or take advatage of them. He'd have a much easier time of it if he just kept them at the frat house where couches and beds are already available. If he's being kind enough to drive them home (nobody ever did that for me), I imagine he's kind enough to leave well enough alone. Why risk having them puke in his car if all he wants is get in their pants?

kmat 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes, what restaurant is this? If so many of you know because you drank there underage, then please enlighten us. I want to make sure my nieces don't go there.

mdfraz 5 years, 9 months ago

Jersey, not to be purely argumentative here, but how do you know that dad is aware that ultimately his son was responsible for his decisions? Because he seemed to blame the frat and the alcohol in the article (and not to sound callous but I'd be pretty surprised if there is no legal action undertaken). Yes, this was only a day after his son died, and I am VERY sorry that happened. My comments were not an attempt to pile on and make him feel worse. BUT, my personal opinion is that too many people blame everyone or everything else when bad things happen. Not a whole lot of people step up and say, yes, this was my fault, or yes, my son chose to drink that much.

I can't imagine what it's like to lose a child. I hope I never have to find out. Perhaps my comments would be better directed at the people who jump in and blame the frat, the bar/restaurant, the dorm, the alcohol, KU, society in general or whatever else they can come up with. Bottom line, this kid made a choice to drink copious amounts of alcohol, and it cost him everything. If anything good can come of it, I hope people realize or remember that even if you are doing something that's a lot of fun at the time, you may have to face extremely serious consequences later. And more than likely you have no one to blame but yourself.

And by the way, I've made mistakes in my past that could have ended up very badly. I was lucky at times to get through without negative consequences, but I realize it and take full responsibility for it.

applejuice 5 years, 9 months ago

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Budgets_Smudgets 5 years, 9 months ago

mdfraz:"but how do you know that dad is aware"

And how do you know he is not. Based on this news article? That is very thin ice. Shut it.

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 9 months ago

mdfraz - Coming from a family that lost a child in an accident, I can pretty well guess that the father is probably actually blaming himself for not having done whatever it is he thinks he should have or could have done to prevent this. But in the first few days, this isn't even real. This doesn't happen to YOU. It happens to other people. And he is trying to wrap his brain around this incredibly horrible reality. But it just doesn't fit. So while he's trying to figure out what just happened to his universe, in my opinion, he's entitled to blame whomever or whatever he wants. Once it does sink in and becomes reality, then, yes, he should face up to that it. And I think he will. The fact that he made the comment that he should have had a "zero toleracy" for alcohol when his son was in high school tells me that on some level, he's blaming himself.

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 9 months ago

mdfraz - and I'm glad that you take responsibility for your actions. I try to do my best. And I'm right there with you wondering how I made it this far without killing myself or someone else. But remembering those times, don't you remember thinking that nothing bad could happen to you? Hell, I couldn't get AIDS from unprotected sex; who in Kansas has AIDS? Thank goodness, I didn't. I'm just afraid that not that many people are going to learn from this. It's another case of "this can't happen to me, it happens to other people".

mdfraz 5 years, 9 months ago

Jersey, I think we are a lot closer on this issue than you might realize. Again, for Budgets' sake, I'm NOT piling on Dad here. Or even the kid. It is something that happens a lot on campuses all over the country all the time, and unfortunately, it was too much this time, and this guy lost his life.

Budgets, right now, all we have to go on is what Dad said in the article. I don't know the guy or the family, so I can't give personal impressions. I'm sure that he is very angry, depressed/destroyed emotionally, probably even feeling a little guilty. As Jersey says, he has a right to feel all of those things. As I stated, my comments are probably more accurately directed at people who aren't personally involved who start blaming everyone and everything else on the planet for what this kid chose to do.

Logic, we've had our disagreements before, but as with Jersey, I think we are more on the same page than it might first appear. And btw, I got the email last week regarding Missouri St., and sorry I didn't have time to respond. Know that your comments were considered, and I think we can agree to disagree. Hopefully that doesn't open another can of worms........

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 9 months ago

mdfraz - yes, I realize from your last couple posts that we are closer on the issue than in my first reaction. It might be hard to tell from my last couple posts - that's where the Jersey Girl part comes in. We sometimes sound a little, um, bitchier, than we mean. As I said, I come from a family that lost a child in an accident and I will defend this family's right to feel however and react however they want right now. Any Monday morning quarterback can point out how things could have been prevented. The real quarterback has to look to the future.

mdfraz 5 years, 9 months ago

Well it's obvious that talking about it won't change what happened. I guess my take is that instead of finding other people or things to blame, a lesson to learn from this is that sometimes your actions have consequences, and sometimes they can be quite severe. And you might be right, that after some time to let things sink in and accept what happened, Dad might see that it was his son's choices that led to his death. He's right that kids don't realize how dangerous alcohol can be, if used improperly, which is often the case in college, and even high school. I did my fair share of drinking, and like I said, in a few cases I was lucky I didn't hurt myself or someone else, or get in trouble, etc. But those were my choices, and I hope that had something happened, I would have been man enough to own up to them. Easier said than done, I know.

It's hard to know what someone's true meaning is on a message board with no body language or voice inflection. So, if I come off rough, sometimes I might mean it, but at the end of the day, I'm looking at this as a forum for people with different viewpoints to discuss them as objectively and constructively as possible. Not always easy to do though.........

LiberalDude 5 years, 9 months ago

Sad stuff. It sounds very similar to this fraternity death at CU a few years ago: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/3747724/detail.html My guess is that SAE at KU will be suspended for a few years.

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 9 months ago

mdfraz - I think the dad knows the son's actions led to his death. It just might be hard to express without making it sound like suicide ("he killed himself") or he may just not be ready to "blame" the kid. I do apologize for jumping your case. You should see the other string. I called someone a jerk and an ass for blaming the dad.

mdfraz 5 years, 9 months ago

Yeah I just read it. Blame doesn't help the situation, and that's not my goal. Lack of personal responsibility is a pet peeve of mine, and I mean that in general, not necessarily in this case alone. And again, Dad may at some point say, yeah, Jason made these choices himself. I was more disgusted with everyone who wants to ban all alcohol, punish every bar/restaurant, sue the frats, KU, or liquor stores etc. etc. People make decisions every day, some big, some small, some good, some bad. Most of what happens to the vast majority of us is a direct or indirect result of choices we make. Too many people seem to want to point fingers in every other direction other than at themselves when something bad happens. That drives me crazy.

Ok, I'm going home, so I'm off my soapbox for today.

asleepinthechapel 5 years, 9 months ago

Lillone et al.

As an "original speculator" I was referencing the one named for cactus juice and the one named for a beautiful girl. Those are notorious offenders (not even pretending like they'd ask for an ID from the 90-pound girl scout in the booth), but I've seen it happen everywhere you can get a drink in this town. At 18 I was allowed in some 21+ bars around here, not to mention sold drinks at restaurant establishments.

Hypocrite or not - I can honestly say I would be pissed if someone I loved died because some too-cool-for-school bartender or waitress didn't even bother to ask for an ID. You've got the ID, it's on you. Before that, I think the vendor deserves a tremendous amount of responsibility.

2fat4u -

Amen. Half of us shouldn't even be here today. Call it luck, fate or whatever, it's inconceivable sometimes.

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 9 months ago

Can you imagine the world if everyone took personal responsibility?

blindrabbit 5 years, 9 months ago

blindrabbit: If I'm not mistaken, SAE at KU was kicked out of the KU frat council as well as SAE national several years ago; maybe for something similar. I think the house stood vacant for a couple of years. Maybe a ingrained problem with this bunch. Is the local bar/resturant who served the margarita's sweating this also!!

toomuch4me 5 years, 9 months ago

Instead of everyone seeking blame for this horrible tragedy I would like to suggest the people who knew and loved Jason (i.e. his Parents, Friends and Fraternity brothers) could turn their terrible loss into something that would create a memorial for Jason. They could create educational opportunities to educate other students at KU. There are all kinds of great programs that can be brought in and could teach other young adults so this doesn't happen again.

I have seen horrible tragedies at other campuses that helped to cause a movement within the student body towards more responsible actions and education. These students, families, or fraternities started funds in memory of their loved one and use the money to bring in top programs to educate their members, friends, students. Fraternities or Sororities required their members to be at the programs, schools required all dorms to have new students attend, or the students themselves encouraged others to attend these programs. The really good programs are not boring but rather speak directly to the students on a level that gets their attention. They are very motivating programs.

It doesn't happen overnight but it can happen. It won't bring back Jason but it might help make it a little less painful.

My heart goes out to his family, friends and Fraternity brothers. It is a loss for all but maybe you can create something positive from Jason's death.

mdfraz 5 years, 9 months ago

Fair enough logic, and Jersey. Like I said it's hard to gague someone's attitude sometimes on here by just reading words on a screen. I'd prefer to have civil discussions on here, no matter how much we might disagree on an issue.

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