Archive for Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Father says alcohol killed son, urges KU fraternity to ban drinking

Jason Wren with his father, Jay.

Jason Wren with his father, Jay.

March 10, 2009, 1:50 p.m. Updated March 10, 2009, 2:41 p.m.

Alcohol killed son at KU greek house, father says

They say alcohol killed their son. Now parents of a student found dead Sunday inside a KU fraternity are calling for a ban on drinking. Enlarge video

Jason Wren with family.

Jason Wren with family.

A Kansas University freshman found dead Sunday inside the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house was killed by alcohol, his father said.

According to reports from police and friends, Jason Wren, 19, died after a night of drinking multiple margaritas with friends at a local establishment, followed by drinking between 10 and 12 beers at the fraternity house, 1301 West Campus Road, and then walking around with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, said his father, Jay Wren, of Littleton, Colo.

“These kids have got to know it’s alcohol that killed him and it’s a dangerous environment to be in a drinking fraternity,” Jay Wren said during an interview with the Journal-World on Tuesday. “It killed my son.”

When Jason Wren passed out, his fraternity brothers put him in bed and when he stumbled out of bed, they didn’t take him to the hospital, his father said.

“The thing that makes me the most angry is they knew the alcohol problem and they didn’t report that in,” he said.

Lawrence police and the coroner have not released any results from Monday’s autopsy, but Jay Wren said they indicate his son’s urine contained alcohol, though it will take up to two weeks to determine how much. He said the autopsy looked normal and did not indicate signs of a heart attack or asphyxiation.

Lawrence police said they have completed their investigation of the young man’s death, but won’t announce an official cause of death until toxicology results are available, Sgt. Bill Cory said.

Jason Wren had lived in the fraternity house only for a few weeks, moving in after he was kicked out of a KU dorm for having a shot glass and a beer, his father said.

Now Jay Wren is encouraging people touched by his son’s death to resist social drinking. He also has asked the president of the fraternity house to make it a dry house.

“Instead of raising your glass to Jason, put your drink down and quit,” he said.

Friends and family have gathered in a Facebook group to remember Jason Wren.

Jason Wren’s parents will come to Lawrence on Thursday to pick up his belongings and attend a memorial service at the fraternity house.

Jay Wren remembers his son as well-liked and athletic. He was a midfielder in the KU Lacrosse Club.

“You name the sport, and he played it,” Jay Wren said. “I know Jason’s in heaven, because he was a Christian and he accepted Christ as his savior, but I know if there’s not sports in heaven, he’s going to feel like he’s in hell.”

The pre-business major had aspirations of earning a six-figure income and was brilliant in calculus, Jay Wren said.

“It was a life cut way too short,” he said.


Jim Williamson 9 years, 3 months ago

"Jason Wren had lived in the fraternity house only for a few weeks, moving in after he was kicked out of a KU dorm for having a shot glass and a beer, his father said."

While I feel terribly for this poor man -- I can't imagine losing one of my kids -- if he believes a kid gets kicked out of a residence hall just for having a shot glass and a beer, he's delusional. I promise you, he did more than that to get kicked out of Oliver.

mm79b 9 years, 3 months ago

First of all, the writer got the name of the fraternity wrong; it's Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Secondly, there is no way that Jason's father was thinking rationally by letting him move into a fraternity house after he was kicked out of his dorm by MUCH more than just getting caught with a beer and a shot glass. Fraternities are much more volatile environments for drinking and partying than dorms, and Jason was bound to get into some level of trouble by moving into SAE.

ThoughtPonderer 9 years, 3 months ago

I thought KU was supposed to be a dry campus. Fraternities and sororities are on the campus, so shouldn't they be dry by university rules anyway?

G_E 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree, phogfan86 - as a current student and former dorm resident (McCollum last year), I can safely say that it takes a heck of a lot more than that to get kicked out of the dorms. Would he get written up for a beer and a shot glass? Perhaps. But evicted from the dorms entirely? Definitely not.

That aside, the whole situation is a tragedy, and my heart goes out to the Wren family and all those who Jason.

Jonathan Kealing 9 years, 3 months ago

Thought- Fraternities and sororities are off campus, so they set their own alcohol rules.

mm79b- That was a typo that's been fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

waswade 9 years, 3 months ago

Shouldn't parents be held accountable to an extent? You cannot blame the fraternity or the college when the kid obviously had issues with alcohol in the dorms. Nor can you blame the friends for not helping him or taking him to the hospital...would a car accident have been better?

Alison Roberts 9 years, 3 months ago

Im pretty sure thats not all he did to get kicked out of the dorm...theres a certain amount of information kids tell their parents.

Yes, drinking and fraternities seem to go hand in hand, but if he had gotten in trouble with alcohol before, whats going to stop him? If I were his father, I would have moved him into an apartment--not a fraternity. His dad cant be that clueless to know what goes on in a frat.

Remember that it was the drinking that killed him... not the fraternity and they should not be held 100% accountable for it. Obviously he was served in the restaurant despite the fact that he is underage--not uncommon. But Im pretty sure that no one forced him to go home and drink 10-12 beers and then the whiskey.

This is tragic, no doubt about it, but I think the finger of blame shouldnt be pointed solely to the fraternity. He was their brother--its going to affect them tremendously. How were they to know what would happen? They were just attending to him as they would anyone else. I feel for them and know how hard this is going to be on the entire fraternity, its active members, and its alumni.

My heart goes out to his family.

Lynn Wilson-Bruce 9 years, 3 months ago

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family! I wish they would crack down more on all this drinking! How sad for the family to loose a child in this manner! He was not 21 and someone has to be providing him the alcohol! Isn't that against the law to give minors alcohol? Sounds like a law suit coming to SAE.

Alison Roberts 9 years, 3 months ago

Jkeating... yes, some fraternities are off campus, but not SAE. Their alcohol policies can be regulated by the university...since the house is on university property.

Alison Roberts 9 years, 3 months ago

Another dont get kicked out of a dorm for ONE offense... so my guess is that this was just the last straw.

Jonathan Kealing 9 years, 3 months ago

vavs- I promise, it's off campus. The University's property is east of West Campus Road. They're on the west side. That's why LPD — and not KUPD — worked the scene.


Danielle Brunin 9 years, 3 months ago

I can't even imagine what this family is going through. It makes me sick to think about. I also feel sorry for the fraternity brothers who participated in the drinking with him, and then found him. This will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Every time they close their eyes, they will see his face. After all, no one ever thinks anything bad will happen to them, especially at that age.

Alison Roberts 9 years, 3 months ago

Even if a fraternity becomes "dry" there will still be drinking...

I think everyone knows, without it being said, which restaurant they went to for the margaritas... arent they somewhat accountable?

This could have happened in the dorms, in a fraternity, in an off campus apartment--you cant say it only happened because he lived in a fraternity.

rgh 9 years, 3 months ago

Who cares about him being removed from a dorm, etc. Please students, wake up and keep yourselves out of trouble. All the students could have helped save this young man's life by shutting him down.

To his parents, I'm sorry for the loss your child in any instance.

This is a societal problem, not just a college problem. I too am lucky to be alive by some of my actions when younger and I thank God to now be sober every day.

Daytrader23 9 years, 3 months ago

Banning drinking will only make the problem worse. Just look at Colorado University which has a very strick ban on booze and yet it comes out as the number one drinking and party college every year since the 60's. GO BUFF's Represent.

Yes I realize I am being insensitive but when will people realize that you can't make laws to protect people from themselves. Prohibition never works, on any drug. Period.

KansasVoter 9 years, 3 months ago

There was alcohol consumption at a fraternity by underage students?!? Who would have ever guessed?

This guy's father needs to understand that he's the one who enabled his son to drink himself to death.

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

waswade - he was 19. He wasn't a minor any more. Most parents do the best that can. And there's only so much you can tell/teach a teenager. After all, it's their life and you're not the boss of them any more. He was going to do what he was going to do. From what I've read, I'm sure the parents do blame themselves. We don't need to help them with that. We need to help them through this or butt out.

lawdog 9 years, 3 months ago

First of all he was 19, if it were my son, I would be asking 'who' bought him the drinks and what local establishment did he and his friends go to. I have a daughter 19 and I can not imagine the grief I would be feeling if something were to happen to her.

My prayers are with The Wren Family..........

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

Jesus, KansasVoter - think you could be a bigger jerk? How exactly did he "enable" his son to drink himself to death? Did he buy the alcohol?

Christine Anderson 9 years, 3 months ago

This is a horrible tragedy. While I feel there were several factors that contributed to this ( primarily the alcoholism of a 19 yr. old), I'm going to focus my comments on the inaction of this kid's frat brothers. Idiots!! Should they, as a previous poster asked, have had a car accident trying to get their brother help? No. They wouldn't have had to. It's called dialing 911; something a four yr. old can be taught to do! If their inaction was "tending to him as they would anyone else", that's a very sad statement regarding their level of intelligence and lack of responsibility to one of their own. Pathetic.

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

The man just lost his son. Show some respect.

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

Since I'm feeling the need to defend everyone today, I'm not making excuses for them, but a lot of you sound like you're assuming that his frat brothers were sober enough to judge how much he'd had to drink and what condition he was in. I truly doubt he was the only one drinking.

Danielle Brunin 9 years, 3 months ago

It is not the father's fault. At 19, the victim was a big boy and should have known better. His father lived 600+ miles away. What was he supposed to do? Move here and hold his hand? The fact is that if a 19 year old kid with an invincibility complex wants to drink, there is very little that a parent can do, in my opinion.

geekin_topekan 9 years, 3 months ago

Blame the frat house? How about KU? Why not the dorm?Heck if he had been allowed to stay,the night would have ended much differently. KU parents have the wackiest sense of misguided anger some times.Like the kid who removed a screen to lean out of his dorm window to smoke.The parents sued KU!!!

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

Agnostick - I don't see how KU can be held responsible for this (and I don't see any sign the family blames the university). I'm not trying to be argumentative. The fraternity is on private property, not university property. And you're right; even if they got the Greek system to go dry, kids will still find alcohol. Merchants in this town are not about to stop raking in the cash they make off KU students drinking.

weluvbowling 9 years, 3 months ago

My heart goes out to this family. I cannot imagine how they must feel right now nor do I want to know!

I am the Mother of a son, 22 and a daughter, 14. The son is over the age of 18 so therefore I have no control over what he does. No matter what kind of guidance you think your children need after they become of age there is nothing you can do unless you can declare them incompetent. Then if they do something wrong and you are responsible you are the one who is in trouble. How you guys can sit there and blame the father is beyond me. As stated by another person on here, he was 600+ miles away. It's not like he was there providing him with the beer. And another person stated a child only tells their parents what they want them to know. I can't believe you people blaming the parent!

I do agree though, if you try to "ban" the drinking, they will find someplace else to do it and then they run the risk of driving home drunk and killing themselves OR some other innocent person on the street.

There is no one to blame here but the victim himself. He was old enough to know better and I am sure this wasn't the first time he had "consumed" alcohol. He also knew when he put that drink to his lips at the restaurant that he was not old enough to be drinking. However, there is a part of me that feels they should be held partially responsible due to serving alcohol to a minor. Don't they check ID's anymore? note I do know they make fake ones but don't they have machines that detect that now?

George_Braziller 9 years, 3 months ago

In the state of Kansas you can't even legally buy "grocery store" beer at 19. There were LOTS of things that went wrong here. The establishment that served it, the "friends" that provided it, and the individual who didn't know his limits for what what he could consume. All played a role in his death.

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

Agnostick - I remember asking someone sometime long ago about why frats still could have parties when KU was a dry campus and was told that the houses are the property of the fraternal organization, not the university. This story is bringing out the Jersey in me, so my posts may be a bit more bitchy than I mean them to be. I apologize.

KansasVoter 9 years, 3 months ago

Jersey_Girl (Anonymous) says… "Jesus, KansasVoter - think you could be a bigger jerk? How exactly did he “enable” his son to drink himself to death? Did he buy the alcohol?"

How did the father enable this? His son was kicked out of the dorms for alcohol, so the father let him move into a frat house. That's how he enabled it. Frat houses are infernos of binge drinking, and this guy obviously had a problem with alcohol. The father should have forced him to move back to Colorado and either work, attend junior college, or both. For the father to be surprised that his alcoholic son died of alcohol poisoning in a frat house is at best disingenuous.

KansasVoter 9 years, 3 months ago

musbhiorlo (Anonymous) says… "Until it is illegal, people will die from it, all the time, every day every freeking minute!"

You're right. Not one single person died from alcohol poisoning during Prohibition. Not one. Let's bring back Prohibition!

lawdog 9 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone know what 'establishment' he was served margaritas at? So I am asuming that place will be under scrutiny or be shut down all together????????

pool_playa 9 years, 3 months ago

Personal responsibility is the key here. The guy got overboard. Nobody around him thought to stop him. But I wouldn't blame it one anyone else. Feel sorry for him and his parents, friends and relatives. A sober reminder for all of us.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 3 months ago

Isn't the term "dry fraternity" an oxymoron?

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

KansasVoter - I don't know who was paying the kid's tuition or room and board. I don't know what the father's experience is with fraternities. It sounds like the father didn't know or didn't think the kid had a problem with alcohol. He seemed to be under the impression the kid drank a little in high school with nice kids and got kicked out of the dorm for having a shot glass and a beer. If the kid just got kicked out a few weeks ago, it was mid-semester, so even if he wanted to make the kid come home, it would have made sense to let him finish the semester rather than drop out and waste a semester's worth of out-of-state tuition. We all make mistakes. As I said in another string, any Monday morning quarterback can point out where things went wrong. The real quarterback has to pick up the pieces and look to the future. This father has just gone through the worst thing that could happen to a parent. Anybody blaming him is an ass.

pool_playa 9 years, 3 months ago

Definitely no parents would ever want to face this situation. You cannot treat a 19 yr old like a baby, 'cause he is old enough to know the ill-effects of binge drinking. Unfortunately, alcohol impairs sound judgment and apparently he just couldn't stop.

pills4profit 9 years, 3 months ago

musbhiorlo -

People like you are the reason this kid died. . .

People like you think prohibition is the only way despite its obvious ineffectivness in other instances (alcohol prohibiton, weed prohibition etc) . . .

People like you probably think your kids are complete angels who would never do anything wrong . . .

People like you do have kids who drink and smoke, probably because you made it and still make it such the forbidden fruit . . .

People like you, upon making drinking and drugs the forbidden fruit have raised irresponsible users of recreational drugs

People like you need to realize that only educating their kids when they are younger and under adult supervision in regards to drinking and smoking will any of them be responsible moderate users . . .

People as ignorant as you make me absolutly sick to my stomach . . .

1029 9 years, 3 months ago

I assume that the local establishment serving the margarita's is the obvious one that everyone seems to be thinking of. I have wondered about the ages of some of the people drinking there. However, a few months ago I was in there at about 6 or 7 pm waiting for a table and this pack of 10-12 makeup-caked, loudly-dressed, heels-clomping, fake-baked blonde girls were waiting for a table ahead of me. Well, they got seated first and staff had to pull tables together to accomodate them. I wasn't paying attention, but within two or three minutes of sitting down they all got up and clippety-clopped out the door angrily. Not a single one looked over 21 (once you got past the makeup that made them all look like busted 40 year-old hookers), so I assume they left because the waiter asked for their IDs. I was somewhat suprised, as I, like many of the posters on here, had always assumed that this restaurant was the place to go for underage greek kids who wanted to drink margaritas.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

Another very sad story involving alcohol, and young adults. I just hope the family doesn't feel like they somehow could have prevented this.

flyin_squirrel 9 years, 3 months ago

Underage college and high school students can get alcoholic drinks at any number of restaurants. The underagers know that the Lawrence Police Department doesn't check restaurants, only college bars.

My condolences to the family and friends.

George_Braziller 9 years, 3 months ago

Try reading your American history again. Prohibition was a failure because all it did was create an opportunity for moonshiners, bootleggers and organized crime to fill a market void. People will drink alcohol. If they can't get it legally they will find another avenue.

"musbhiorlo (Anonymous) says… I believe that if it (alcohol) were illegal in America, not as many Americans would die because of it."

jb276370 9 years, 3 months ago

For all of those of you who believe the solution is to ban drinking, you are sadly mistaken. These students are adults, and should be treated like adults. Obviously there was a failure to act on SAE's part, but I can guarantee this would have been avoided had the drinking age been 18. The brothers of SAE would have gotten medical attention for their sick brother if doing so didn't mean getting themselves and the house in trouble for underage consumption of alcohol.

When you ban anything, it loses any and all supervision and safety standards. If alcohol is banned, SAE member would be forced to drink in confinement without supervision.

What they need to do is improve risk management at the house -- and at all fraternities at KU for that matter.

pills4profit 9 years, 3 months ago


Keep preaching your abstince and misguided D.A.R.E. programs that preach fear and lies all the while breeding distrust and curiosity. Your kids will continue to drink, smoke, and have sex and keep you in the dark about it; but hey maybe thats where you should be. I, personally would rather confront the train before it crosses the tracks by providing acurate information and resources to facilitate safe and productive environment. You can only be a helicopter for so long; and i hope your ride is since i have a feeling if you ever landed in the real world you would have no idea what to do except hole up under a rock. So keep going to your PTA meetings sucking down every lie the media spews toward your helium inflated head and hope you and yours make it out all right.

I have seen to many kids in highschool and college get one wiff of freedom before they get there first wiff of booze or drugs and go absoloutly insane with it. Next thing you know there either passed out, in the hospital, or laying supine in some cock wads bed all because they had no idea that 12 shots of viaka in 2 hours would make them completely loose there inhibition.

And for your information, i don't do drugs, and i do drink. I used to smoke weed and dabble in other harder drugs for the sheer rush and curiosity. When i started drinking my frends and i were very irresponsible due to lack of experience and actual knowledge of what would happen. This happens so often im surprised more kids don't die. This also peaks my curiosity as to what i would have been had my parents allowed me alcohol in moderation and tought me how to be responible. And after reading up on the culture of european countries and the way there kids are brought up around alcohol and drugs it makes me realize just how backward our society is.

But seeing as how our country is about as polarized on the alcohol and drugs issue as it is on just about every other issue that even breeds the lightest bit of controversy i really doubt anything will ever be done to change the status quo and conversations such as this one will only be sparked up when it is preceeded by tragedy.

Strontius 9 years, 3 months ago

"What is funny/ironic is that all of those so willing to blame the student do not take into consideration the barrage of drinking ads thrown at Americans during televised sporting events or even on the radio. Magazines are also full of them, and drinking is part and parcel of the music and entertainment scene."

Yes, and every person can make the rational choice to drink or not to drink and in the proper quantities.

This is about personal responsibility, and no one else is to blame for Jason's death except Jason. That's the truth, however it makes you feel.

Strontius 9 years, 3 months ago

Up to a point… But you're a fool if you think all that advertising to kids who grow up watching Joe Football and Joe Basketball does not have an influence. Then when they go to dad's refrigerator they see beer staring out at them.

Look at your own buying habits. I'm sure many of the things you purchase are related to your self image - an image catered too by Madison Avenue. You just aren't hip unless you drink…

God, people truly are delusional.

I'm sure it has an influence, but so what? It still doesn't remove the ability to rationally make a choice. And frankly, if people are too stupid to resist a few advertisements, then their removal from the gene pool does us all a favor.

My buying habits? Well, I mainly buy food and pay bills with my money. Damn that Madison avenue for teaching me fiscal responsibility and how to keep myself alive by consuming nutrients!

You sound like a government anti-drug commercial; so far removed from the society you criticize.

oohmgrover 9 years, 3 months ago

A lot of things went horribly wrong here and one single person isn't to blame. Like it or not, that kind of behavior happens almost daily on a campus whether the student is in a fraternity or not, and the odds are almost always in the student's favor that nothing horrible and permanent will happen to them. As a grad student who rarely partied while I was an undergrad, I saw many people out when I did party who probably should have had something happen with the way they were tempting fate, but how many times have we heard of an alcohol-related death in Lawrence compared to how much alcohol everyone knows is consumed by college students in Lawrence.

Many of my relatives worked in the hunting industry, and when things went horribly wrong and a weapon that we sold was involved, there are parents who lash out and sue everyone in that step by step process that led to this tragedy. Sometimes, it is valid. If we had sold them a handgun and they shouldn't have been sold one and it was something that we could have known if we had followed the steps we needed to take, then obviously it is something where we should be punished. The restaurant which I'm sure is the one that everyone else is thinking of needs to be punished for allowing underaged drinking.

However, not all of the blame can fall on any one cog in the machine, and no blame can really fall on any of it as long as the people involved made an honest effort to follow the law. He was 19, shouldn't have been served. This isn't what killed him, his own decisions likely killed him and that is something that cannot be changed. Should the parents find whatever establishments did break the law in serving him to maybe stop it from happening for other students in the future? That's their call.

My prayers are with the family, who have no control over an adult child under the very powerful influence of peers who accept drinking and partying as a way of life. I've seen kids that I've grown up with who were raised just like I was who simply weren't emotionally ready for college and crashed and burned. Thank God most of them can recover from their mistakes, and we can only pray that this will shock some students into awareness that their decisions can have very lasting consequences.

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

demonfury - I hope for your sake and theirs, your kids are as well behaved as you think they are. I'd really hate for you to have to go through what these parents are going through right now.

mom_of_three 9 years, 3 months ago

Since I seem to be the only one who read the Denver post article, the father said his son used to drink in high school, with nice kids. I am not blaming the father, but he knew his son drank. And children's behavior doesn't stop when they hit college. Unfortunately he didn't know that it would get out of hand like it did.
It's a tragic situation, and i think there is enough blame to go around.

booze_buds_03 9 years, 3 months ago

Everyone quit with the blame game. Fake IDs are rampant, especially at Frat houses. He could have easily used a fake ID and the local establishment and he could have also bought his own booze. No one knows, so quit wasting your speculating about who to file a lawsuit against.

Brandon Mailand 9 years, 3 months ago

Growing up in Lawrence, I know that High school house parties are every bit as big and full of alcohol as many college parties. If you make the fraternity dry, they will simply go to a brother's house. The campus is already dry, and there are plenty of parties, easy enough to get into, i know from experience. I also have a friend that died and was resuscitated in the ambulance, in high school, at a college party, nowhere near campus. Alcohol is something that is fun and when used in moderation, safe. You can only pound so much information into youth like myself before we just say, "I'm finally free, now I can drink till i pass out!" Everything is so strict at a young age, our culture has made alcohol into something like an illegal substance. Instead of just a drink with dinner or a couple for fun, it has been turned into something used to get trashed. My fraternity is wet, and so is my campus. We have not had anyone die, and it is because we are responsible, and drink wisely. This situation sucks for a lot of people, but the school and SAE are not to blame as institutions. Individuals, possibly for not taking action, but as parents and older members of the community, think back to your college days, and ask yourself what you and your friends did when one another got to drunk to stand. This was irrisponsible on his part, and not smart by his friends, but the institutions have no responsibility as a whole.

del888 9 years, 3 months ago

The kid is a minor. Someone at that fraternity is responsible. Even if he bought his own. Just like if a high school kid is driinking at a friend's house - that friend's parents are responsible.

coolmom 9 years, 3 months ago

the kid is 19 with responsibility to himself.

coolmom 9 years, 3 months ago

My heart does go out to this young mans family and a life cut short. any parent knows this is the one thing you cannot imagine and dread because of course you are not supposed to outlive the your child the hurt and pain must be overwhelming. prayers.

dweezil222 9 years, 3 months ago

jb276370 (Anonymous) says…

For all of those of you who believe the solution is to ban drinking, you are sadly mistaken. These students are adults, and should be treated like adults. Obviously there was a failure to act on SAE's part, but I can guarantee this would have been avoided had the drinking age been 18. The brothers of SAE would have gotten medical attention for their sick brother if doing so didn't mean getting themselves and the house in trouble for underage consumption of alcohol.


Excellent point. There's an odd dichotomy in holding one capable of being held legally liable for the full range of criminal acts and yet denying that they are capable of making a rational decision about whether or not (or how much) to drink.

All you need to know about alcohol laws and responsibility you can learn from a two-week vacation in Europe. They don't have the same kind of issues with binge drinking, DUI, etc. that we have here. Part of that is a function of harsher penalties, but in large part it's also a function of a culture which introduces kids to alcohol early on and teaches them to be responsible with it.

JayViking 9 years, 3 months ago

To be frank, I'm horribly ashamed of some of these posts. This is not the medium to be right or have the last word. The same people criticizing his father's parental skills must not have learned any common decency themselves.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 3 months ago

Very sorry about your loss Mr. Wren. Just because it was him that made the wrong choices does not mean the people who served him (illegally) should not be punished somehow. A you bet the police will be watching closely underage drinking at bars for awhile. And the bars might get stricter (for a bit) knowing the restaurant that served him is now in trouble and will scare them.

whiskeysour 9 years, 3 months ago

Despite the unfortunate circumstances, I've been enjoying the discourse on the board. . . people are quite opinionated about this subject, and definately set in their views.

I would like to pose a question, though. If we're concerned about the fatalities which result from "Demon rum", and not only advocate its restriction for the "young", but also throughout society why don't we take that same tact for other death inducing activities.

Before everyone jumps on the obvious (smoking, drugs, etc) according to date from the year 2000 the second leading cause of death in the United States was "poor diet and physical inactivity" yet the number of people who suggest banning unhealthy foods is viritually zero. Even those suggesting a tax, or warnings, are only going to bring unhealthy foods in line with alcohol.

Does no one suggest prohibition of unhealthy foods because it is unrealistic? If so, it is it not equally unrealistic for alcohol??

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

Firstly, as a member of a greek organization here at KU, it is wrong for all of you to automatically stereotype all houses because of the tragedy that occurred at one house in particular. There is no reason for the entire Greek system to go dry. Typically, at least in my fraternity's case, at least one member on the executive board is sober in order to respond to a crisis situation like this. We routinely have individuals speak to the chapter house about what to do specific situations such as this (signs, who to call, what to give, etc.). The whole Greek system is not to blame, so stop saying that.

Secondly, I am sad to say but I do believe the best course of action is to have SAE kicked off campus. Obviously the most blame for this death is Jason himself, but SAE was capable of preventing it. There is fault on SAE's president, risk management chair, and fellow brothers. Somebody bought the alcohol, somebody most likely encouraged him to drink, nobody sought help until it was too late. Also, this is not the first incident SAE has had this year: a member almost injured a girl by tackling here during Homecoming, there have been known occasions of vandalism to other houses by them, the huge brawl they had with Delta Chi that sent somebody to the hospital, and now the death of a freshman because of their lack of judgement.

Sigma Nu was kicked off a few years ago for hazing, Phi Kappa Theta was kicked off for a party, Alpha Phi was kicked off because a girl fell off a balcony during a party.

Somebody died. You tell me what is worse.

There are many people that want to know what IFC is doing and SAE's nationals is doing to decide on SAE's future. Let us know LJWorld!

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

Also, I do want to say that I do have friends in SAE and they are great guys. I do find this a horrible tragedy, and I do feel extremely sorry that it had to happen to anybody. Unfortunately I feel that that is the best course of action for the Greek community. Hopefully this will not happen at KU again.

flyin_squirrel 9 years, 3 months ago

At what point do we hold individuals accountable for their own actions. This is a terrible tragedy but he was an adult in every sense of the word, except with alcohol. If 19 year olds are not old enough to make their own decisions, why do we have them vote for the President, go to war, leave for college on their own and live on their own?

And why do we as parents teach our kids everything in life, except how to drink responsibly? We send our kids off to college and expect them to just know how to drink alcohol. Would you let your teenagers friends teach him to drive a car? Or teach him right and wrong?

Lowering the drinking age would help get parents to teach their kids how to drink responsibly, not sending them off to experiment in college.

kansasrose 9 years, 3 months ago

A family lost a son and brother. A 'house' lost a brother. My heart goes out to the family and house. This is no time to point fingers and assign blame.

kittykat69 9 years, 3 months ago

So, clearly none of you at all know the wren family, or knew Jason for that matter. KansasVoter: what the heck is your problem, this man just lost his son and you think he enabled him? You are pathetic. Mr. Wren wanted his son to experience college, so he got kicked out of the dorms for having a few drinks or whatever who the hell cares that doesn't mean his dad sent him to a fraternity to "drink himself to death" you people make me and all of my friends who are friends with Jason sick. Can't you show any compassion for a family who just lost their only son? Some of you say that jason "got what he deserved" and he was "on his way to getting in more trouble by being in the fraternity house." Thats ridiculous who are any of you to say what jason deserved, none of you people knew how genuine and compassionate jason was and he definitely didn't deserve to die because he made a mistake of having a few more drinks than he should have. He is a college student and I am a college student and i can say that there has been numerous times where i or my friends have put themselves in dangerous situations with alcohol. But we are kids. We make mistakes. Jason is one of many kids out there who was extremely unlucky and you know what the fraternity should be held somewhat responsible. Jason's frat brothers pushed him back in a room after trying to walk around because they thought he was too drunk. Well if you think that your friend is too drunk why would you put him to bed? Take him to a hospital. SO all of you disrespectful people out there who think that his father should be held responsible and "enabled his drinking" are insane. If i was in that frat house that night i would take some responsibility because it's just morally right. If i sent one of my friends to bed because i thought he was too drunk and i wanted him to sleep it off, which i have actually done before and i have learned my lesson now, i would feel somewhat responsible for that. I agree that Jason made a mistake, but he was a minor who died at the age of 19 and didn't even get to live to the actual legal drinking age. Why do all of you keep whining about your poor fraternities being "stereotyped" are you kidding me? Frat houses have parties, frat houses drink. That's not a stereotype it's just obvious and how about you stop whining about your frat and actually show some remorse for a family who just lost a teenager.

kittykat69 9 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Wren and his family are not to blame for Jason's unfortunate mistake. Yea some of you are claiming that he "knew" his son drank so he should have done something, but my mother knows i drink and she doesn't do anything. Just because i drink i dont expect to be sent to rehab for partying with my friends once in a while. Jason's dad wanted jason to be happy and he put him in a frat because although everyone KNOWS that frat parties are full of alcohol, this could happen to anyone. On behalf of jason's friends, stop insulting the family. The last thing they need is a bunch of random people who didn't even know jason making a bunch of judgements on their parenting. Jason made everyone smile, he wasn't an alcoholic, and his parents are not to blame. I hope all of you cruel people who clearly don't have any hearts can't sleep with yourselves at night. Put yourself in someone else's shoes for once, and maybe you'll realize that the last thing you want after a childs death is to be blamed for it. You all make me sick.

storm 9 years, 3 months ago

That headline only matches half what the Dad said. He never blames alcohol like the headline infers. He instead blames his son for drinking alcohol. He is acknowledging what his son did.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

kittykat69... I agree with you 100%. His family should have no blame for this at all. The fact that his father felt it was a safe environment, and this is how things turned out is just unfortunate. I have no idea who Jason was, and I hope that he was a great guy like I hear. The family should not be held accountable at all. When you say we're whining about our fraternities, it's because this has put a bad look on all Greek houses. "Frat houses have parties, frat houses drink." So do dorms, so does the student ghetto, so does the scholarship halls. Unfortunately, you were correct when you said they should've taken him to a hospital. Most people in greek houses, dorms, etc. would have done the same and gotten the appropriate help. Unfortunately SAE didn't. They may be great guys, but they failed to handle the situation correctly and to prevent his death. The Greek system lost a fellow member, and a family lost a loved one. My condolences go to all...

whiskeysour 9 years, 3 months ago

Ok, so let's cut the animosity and boil it all down to the bare essentials. . .. .

Life = death

Whether it is from alcohol, unhealthy food, cigarettes, planes, trains, or automobiles if you are living your going to die. As a society we can prohibit this, and try to prevent that, but ultimately something is going to cause the death of all of us.

There is no getting around that simple, inescapable, fact.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

JackRipper... Honestly your arguments are completely irrational, and it is sad that you have to blame a whole group of people for one situation. I never claimed for the Greek system to be the greatest thing on earth, nor did I claim not being in one the be equally as great. Unfortunately for you, you felt it necessary to lump all Greek houses into one. More people in the student ghetto are not in a house. And how do the kids in the dorms get their alcohol? I don't have my "daddy" bail me out at all. In fact, I have paid my whole way through school. Should I assume that your poor just because you're not in a house? Should I assume that you never drink because you're not in a house? Should I assume that the Student Body President is in a Greek house because he's in a leadership position (in fact, he's not in a house). Just because this happened at a Greek house does not mean that all situations happen at them. A few years ago a kid got too drunk and fell out of Oliver hall and died, only to be discovered the next day after people had written on him.

Why don't you just either give some remorse or not talk at? There is no need for petty arguments on this.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

Sorry Jack, just read your last thing...

"...the family shouldn't be but the organization that flaggertly allow underage drinking should be as it will be." 100% agree. It sucks because underage drinking happens everywhere, but unfortunately they got caught and they must meet the punishments. If you read my first post I said that they should be kicked off campus right away.

After that you just decided to try to bash the Greek system again with the whole "daddy" thing and it got old.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

jack, I've met people not in Greek houses that are just as bad, if not worse. Doesn't mean you all are. And it definately does not mean that I will stereotype you at all. Not to mention you guys are a larger community, and you have just as many leadership opportunities as we do.

If you are truly a leader like you say, then why don't I see any Greek protests on campus, or see you running for any position, trying to make a difference. It just seems half ignorant and the other half hypocritical... everything you say.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

Last time I checked it was somebody not in a Greek house that burned down an apartment complex, and another who sodomized cats and dogs. Are we going to talk about who does worse? Because if so then this is definately not the place for it, and I'm pretty sure nobody else wants to read it.

live_like_u_were_dyin 9 years, 3 months ago

I just want to say I am very sorry for your loss. I recently lost one of my best friends because of drinking. It is not an easy thing to go through. Just stick together and help eachother through this. God Bless

jayk231 9 years, 3 months ago

There are over 30,000 students at KU there is no way that KU can be expected to keep all of these students safe. When students leave home and go to college they are expected to be adults. Many of them can not handle growing up that fast. I hope that there is an investigation done into the establishment the allowed the underage drinking. I also hope that there is an investigation done on SAE since the person allowed to drink was under age. Someone at that Frat should be held responsible. Lawrence police department needs to do a better job monitoring the Fraternaties on a regular basis and arresting any underage drinkers and those over 21 giving out the alcohol. This student did not have to die if only those around him would have opened their eyes take care of their so called friends. Friends do not let friends make bad decisions like he did that night.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, You really hate our "leadership meetings," don't ya? And the whole thing where I said that people shouldn't stereotype... apparently you didn't understand, and will continue to do so anyways. Apparently we all drink and act like chimpanzees and you guys never... never... nunca... do so. Sounds reasonable. I'll let you be now, and I will continue on not being ignorant, nor being completely judgemental.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

1) Never said that all non-greeks were affiliated with the criminal class. I was showing the point that not all Greeks commit the crimes (aka criminal class) like you were trying to demonstrate.

2) The kid did move in to the fraternity less than three weeks ago.

3) Apparently you don't check enough parking lots... cause I see a lot of crappy cars at Greek houses, and I probably drive the crappiest one of all

4) There are numerous cases and police reports each year where a non-greek commits and steals at other houses, and at fraternity houses.

5) I'm a Democrat.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

JackRipper, You realize we're not the only two commenting on this currently, don't you?

And at least make more of an argument that isn't how much the greeks say they are leaders.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

Seriously... there are far less Greeks that have rich dads than you think. Honestly, you sound like an idiot, and it is actually quite humorous. Quit trying to start arguments with people for no reason, when people have been just trying to give their condolences.

jayhawk3r 9 years, 3 months ago

my heart is so heavy with sadness for the wren family. jason was a very very good friend of mine at oliver and i loved him very much. i know it makes people feel better to think of jason as an out of control alcoholic, but--- im sure i am going to get eaten alive for saying this--- when we would all sit around and drink, he was never the drunkest. never once did i see him pass out, get sick, or make a fool of himself. i know this must mean that we all have drinking problems. to say that it is at all the fault of the fraternity is just horrible. what did they do that would differ at all from what anyone else would do? if i were living in an apartment with jason and he was drunk beyond belief, i would help him into bed, just as his brothers did. if he wandered out of bed in his drunken state, i would corral him back into bed. there is no reason to point fingers at people, this was no ones fault. not sae's, not olivers, not ku, NOT his family's. to say that his parents could have done something different is just cruel, do you not think that the "should have could have"s are echoing in their brains?

jackie 9 years, 3 months ago

Finally a decent comment. Thank you jayhawk3r. Those of us who have been there understand where you are coming from. By the grace of god I made it through undergrad and grad school with no major incidents. There are many people who posted on this wall who should be very very ashamed of themselves and should take a look in the mirror before spewing their nonsense.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

1) "No, I didn't all greeks commit crimes but I said laws are broken time and time again after we are told they have remedied the situation with their leadership. I guarantee there will be an other such committee set up to deal with this and a resume enhancer for those chosen to be on it so we can get more hot air and the problem isn't fixed. I'm sure more will move off campus while the heat is on again. God help those neighbors."

Please give me a specific example of the leadership committee (besides what they call an "investigation") that you time and time again bring up. And please, does this mean that all organizations that have such committees, like the government, are all Greek? And do we all really join a greek organization to boost a resume, or do you just assume like everything else?

2) "And? Do the freshman move in now and make the laws around the house?"

This was in response to your question: "And I'm wondering, are you saying that anyone can just moosy on in and rent a room at a frat without some affiliation?". Apparently you didn't believe that he just moved in, either that or I have no clue what your point was.

3)"Oh yeah, just made it all up. You're right, just a bunch of used Toyota's. Again, you people can't see anything!"

Yes, I am right. Quite looking at a few and start looking at all.

4) "Wonder why? Hmmmm, do you think it could have something to do with what people have to deal with around you all but you can't hear when you aren't practicing using your quiet voice. Try it sometime, maybe you will be able to start seeing better too."

Your argument is just pointless. Obviously it's the Greeks that always throw parties. I assume you've never been to a kegger on Tennessee?

5) "Oh, big difference. Democrat, republican, it is all about wanting to be the leaders so we have sold out our country to career politicians who will do anything to stay in power."

Again, all you can talk about is being "leaders." Also, you keep referencing the Bush administration, but apparently it's the Obama administration as well? So you prefer anarchy? You make no sense.

jayhawk3r 9 years, 3 months ago

and had the drinking gone on-completely- at another location, should SAE have called the cops when jason arrived? SAE did what most people would have done. they put him to bed, because thats what you assume drunk people need, a good night's sleep. one assumes that he/she is too drunk and needs to lay down, and when they get up you say "oh jason, what are you doing up you crazy cat! get back in bed!"

it would be awesome to have someone to blame, but there is no one. sorry!

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

jayhawk3r, I agree with you. Most people would've done what you said. However, this time things just turned out wrong, and the investigation will show that he was drinking at the house, and the house will likely get in trouble. This probably won't mean that other houses will have to stop drinking... just this one. The police can't monitor every Greek house, dorm, or anywhere that a minor may be drinking. They unfortunately got caught and got caught in the worst way possible that nobody would wish on another.

jayhawk3r 9 years, 3 months ago

if you are somehow trying to reveal this problem that no one knew about, you can stop. underage drinking is a problem, we know that. people drink at fraternities. okay!

i lost a great friend a couple days ago. i have always known that underage drinking is a problem, and your attempt at showing the world how smart you are that you have discovered it is doused with insincerity.

fact of the matter is, a 19 year old died, his family is hurting, his friends are hurting. please just stop one upping everyone.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago


I'm in my fifth year at KU, and didn't join a house until my sophomore year because I was anti-greek like you until I met guys in various houses. And really, my name says it all? Your name is JackRipper! And if you're talking about a greek leadership in that specific house, then I completely agree. Just stop stereotyping, it's really old, really lame, and really childish. I'm starting to question who really is the young one here.

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

Jayhawk3r, I completely agree. I'm sorry you lost a friend. Hopefully nobody gets in serious trouble for this, because it happens all the time and unfortunately went the wrong way in this instance. Hopefully others can respect that, and hopefully they will stop jumping to conclusions about Jason and SAE in general. I'm done now... sorry for your loss.

jayhawk3r 9 years, 3 months ago

thanks rckchalk09, youre nice.

r.i.p. j-wren. ill be seeing you!

rckchlk09 9 years, 3 months ago

JackRipper, Go sit in on a meeting for IFC if you really care to... they are not closed to the public. Your arguments are by far pointless, and not worth my time anymore because it is like talking to a child since you have no idea what you are talking about. Goodnight.

jayhawk3r 9 years, 3 months ago

Stop it, you're rude and one sided and its annoying. Very unappealing.

Your points have been made. What are you hoping to accomplish? Get over yourself.

kittykat69 9 years, 3 months ago

jayhawk3r: i appreciate you sticking up for your friend and jason was also a friend of mine. Please stand up for jason and for all of his friends out here in colorado. We only wish we could have been with him for the last couple days of his life, celebrate him, cherish him, and keep believing and standing up for your friend because we only wish we could have stood up for him at KU. Tell these annoying people that this blog is not for debating who is a democrat or a republican who the hell cares. This is one of our friends who died, clearly people find it too hard to blow past the nonsense. But we knew jason, and we know that jason wasn't abusing alcohol, he made a mistake that i could have made myself.

kittykat69 9 years, 3 months ago

How hard is it for you people to understand that Mr. Wren accepts his son made a mistake, leave his family out of it. Read every damn headline on the news "father says binge drinking kills son" obviously he knows that jason messed up. Leave his FAMILY ALONE AND LET THEM REMORSE. rude, screwed up people stay out of this board. RiDICULOUS.

James32215 9 years, 3 months ago

The ultimate blame for this tragedy rests in the Federal Government forcing states to repeal their age 18 3.2% beer laws. When I was in school we could legally drink beer at age 18. All bars served 3.2% beer and no hard liquor. Liquor by the drink was not available anywhere. The first thing college kids do now is obtain a fake ID so they can go to bars and socialize. They immediately start drinking hard liquor and skip right over beer. 3.2% beer is a great way to teach 18 year olds about drinking. There is no way you can drink enough of it to have this happen. If we are going to change this obsessive drinking culture that now exists on every college campus we must start by giving these kids something to do legally and severely limiting liquor by the drink. Repealing the 3.2 % law brought on this fake ID drinking culture and I believe it is time to correct this mistake by reinstating the 18 age for 3.2% beer law. Local bars could be given the option of returning to 3.2% beer ONLY to allow in 18 year olds. I am sure many of them would. If these kids are legally able to go to bars and purchase beer at the grocery store, most would not get fake ID’s and get wound up in this hard core drinking craze.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 3 months ago

Mr.Wren should not have said anything to the public. His outburst is out of anger and desperation and blame misplaced.

kittykat69 9 years, 3 months ago

omg get over yourself keithmiles05 you dont know his family and you dont know him. Mr. Wren deserves better mourning than your fat ass talking about nothing you know about. leave him alone you insensitive, rude, no heart person. you make me sick jasons father is an amazing strong man and doesnt need people like you talking crap. He said something to the public because he wants everyone to know that his son made a mistake and he doesnt want any other parents, families, or friends to go through what he had to go through. He is asking to put down the drink, and take care of eachother. he had no outbursts whatsoever so wherever your getting that information your poorly mistaken.

1210JayHwk 9 years, 3 months ago

"Secondly, I am sad to say but I do believe the best course of action is to have SAE kicked off campus."

-Funny you support the greek system but are quick to strike the hammer when applicable... would you say the same if this happened at your house? I think not.

SAE being kicked off? Highly unlikely since:

  1. There was no party being held by SAE that night. If there were, IFC would have known about it. Therefore, the kid acted on his own, the Frat did not provide alcohol.

  2. The kid was drinking at other "establishments" - and believe me, none of us know exactly where he was drinking and how much he drank based on the merits of ONE article by ONE author in the LJWorld.

  3. The article clearly states that the investigation has been completed. If action were going to be taken, then it would have happened already. Because universities are ALWAYS ready to jump on fraternities for the slightest wrong move.

  4. There was no hazing / forcing of drinking, based upon many reports including: friends who saw him drinking at other places, and friend who saw him "walking around" with a bottle of jack.

Look up any article about deaths at fraternities, and you will read that about 99% of them say "so and so university has suspended XXX's house for this or that" (usually based on reports of hazing or alcohol being provided at a fraternity sponsored party).... If the university were going to kick SAE off, believe me, we would all know about it by now, nearly 3 days after the event.

1210JayHwk 9 years, 3 months ago

"Sigma Nu was kicked off a few years ago for hazing, Phi Kappa Theta was kicked off for a party, Alpha Phi was kicked off because a girl fell off a balcony during a party.

Somebody died. You tell me what is worse."

Once again, these comparisons do not apply here.

"Sigma Nu was kick off for hazing"

-Of course they were, because hazing is direct action by active fraternity members forcing a poor pledge to do sick/disgusting/dangerous things that they are unwilling to do (includingforced binge drinking on many occasions) no sh*t they were kicked off campus.

"Phi Kappa Theta was kicked off for a party"

-Of course they were, probably because the frat bought something like 18 kegs and posted fliers all over campus about a massive party, and probably because everyone was let in. That is a direct case of a fraternity CLEARLY supporting binge drinking and CLEARLY supplying mass amounts of alcohol to students, all while ADVERTISING about it. No sh*t they were kicked off of campus.

"Alpha Phi was kicked off because a girl fell off a balcony during a party."

-AND ONCE AGAIN, direct action propagated by the fraternity. Another case of a fraternity SPONSORED party where underage drinking was not only supported, but to a point were a girl was allowed onto a balcony, only to fall off.

All of the above frats got kicked of because of direct RESPONSIBILITY of actions. HAZING and HOSTING PARTIES where bad stuff happens will most definitely get fraternities kicked off of campus.

The fact that one kid drank WAY TO MUCH alcohol on his own and happened to pass out at the fraternity house where he was a member will not get a house kicked off of campus.... or it would have happened already.

1210JayHwk 9 years, 3 months ago

One more thing before I remove myself:

I do find it funny how some people are so quick to jump on the greek community when something like this happens.

For instance, how about the case LAST YEAR when a student at Oliver hall overdosed on methadone and wasn't discovered by students or dorm personnel for AN ENTIRE WEEK, only to be discovered when a rotten smell was permeating from his room?

Why is no-one screaming "Oliver hall should be kicked off campus!" or "How irresponsible of his hall-mates to not notice him for an entire week!"

Or another case at the SAME DORM where a student got drunk and fell out of a window seven stories up and died on the ground outside of the dorm, only to have fellow residents peeing on him and marking on his face because they thought he was merely passed out?

where is the outrage there? Anyone who cries "FRAT! FRAT! FRAT! These are the places where this stuff happens!" is displaying a gross double standard when it comes to student housing, university owned or not...

The fact of the matter is, it does not matter WHERE one lives in situations like these, death is death, caused by too much alcohol consumption. That is all there is to it.

kusp8 9 years, 3 months ago

I maintain either raise the enlistment/ draft age or lower the drinking age to 19 so once you've, in theory, graduated from High School you can drink.

Also, does anybody have any statistics on alcohol related deaths in Europe, specifically France, Germany, and/or England? I'd like to be able to compare those numbers to the US'. Oh, and don't just pull something out of your butt, actually cite your statistics.

lionheart72661 9 years, 3 months ago

I have read most of the comments in here and the one that got to me the most was "shouldn't the parents be held somewhat accountable" I'm here to tell you I am a recovering alcoholic with a little more than 3 years sobriety coming from an alcoholic family. Yes they say alcholism is hereditary but in "NO" way do I blame my parents for the problems and trouble I had with alcohol. His dad lived hundreds of miles away and could only go by what his son told him. one will not and cannot recieve help until they admit they have a problem. evidently he did not feel he had a problem. It took a long time for me and others to realize it. That is why AA calls alcohol "CUNNING, BAFFLING AND POWERFUL" all i have to say that if anyone out there thinks they may have a problem come to an AA meeting and hear the stories. Believe me we ARE NOT a bunch of whiny drunks as some are led to believe.There are MILLIONS of men and women worldwide that remain sober and drug free because of these programs like AA and NA.

KLATTU 9 years, 3 months ago

I was downtown at closing time a few weeks back. There was a college age kid who was so drunk he kept falling on the sidewalk. His friends would pick him up, and he'd fall back down again. Eventually he smacked his head so loud bystanders called 911. The cops and ambulance came, and somehow, even though this kid couldn't stand, and wasn't really conscious, the cops and medics left him to his friends, who dragged him off.

A few minutes later here comes the kid again, and he falls and smacks his head. I don't know where his friends went. People call the police again. They show up, but it's obvious they want nothing to do with this kid. It was about 15 degrees out, and there's a college kid laying passed out on the sidewalk in T-shirt and sandals, and the cops wanted to leave him there. I finally walked up to one of the cops, and said "You've got to take this kid to the hospital. He's dangerously drunk, has hit his head several times, and he will freeze to death if you leave him again." They did not want to help him or arrest him; they wanted to leave him.

So to those blaming the drinking buddies for not taking him to the hospital, even the authorities apparently feel the best way to deal with severe drunkeness is to let them sleep it off. I was sure I was going to be reading about that kid in the LJW the next day.

Sharon Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

We can speculate all day as to who to blame for this. A lot of kids haven't drunk much or at all until they hit college. I don't drink. My parents did occasionally and even offered me small amounts in 7Up when I was a teen. Have I ever gotten drunk? Sure, I just never liked the taste of alcohol or how it made me feel and quit drinking in my twenties. My ex on the other hand grew up in a teetotaller family. Never once did alcohol touch their lips. When he came to college, he learned to drink with his buddies. Then he learned to drink more....and more until he ended up an alcoholic. And the funny part is that he is now in his 50's and his parents still don't have a clue that he drinks. I cringe every time I hear his parents boast about their son who doesn't drink or smoke, never has. I won't tell them. So I, for one, think it's possible that these parents really didn't know about the extent of his drinking.

It's sad that a lot of these kids don't realize the dangers of drinking to such excess. And at their age, they think they're invulnerable. I would hate to think that every kid in that frat was drunk and no one was aware at all because of this. Then again, they don't expect anyone to die from what they themselves have just done. Let's just say that this is a tragic event caused by a lineup of events starting with a restaurant serving underage kids. Thankfully they got back to the house without killing themselves or anyone else. Does someone already with a few under the belt realize when enough is enough?

The university cannot police each and every student. The parents, being at that distance, cannot hold his hand every day. His friends probably drank with him and didn't see a problem. He made a mistake and paid with his life. Mistakes are often stupid but can't be undone. My condolences again to his family and friends.

Buggie7 9 years, 3 months ago

First of all my thoughts and prayers are with this family. WIth that being said, the only one to put any responsibility on is this young man. The father said that alcohol is to blame, some are saying the frat, the father, KU. When is someone going to say that its NOT the alcohol that killed him but the poor judgement of this young man. He had a problem if he was drinking this much and no one saw this? He made poor decisions and these decisions are what killed him and nothing else!

roggy 9 years, 3 months ago

My heart goes out to the Wren family. This tragedy will hopefully make the KU students more aware of alcohol poisoning but probably just for a short time. I know the family wants to blame someone, and I would probably feel the same way. Heck, let's blame the basketball team for winning the Big 12 because that put everyone in a partying mood. The sad reality is the young man drank himself to death. The fraternity didn't furnish the young man the liquor and he probably would have been drinking wherever he lived.
I'm not sure if any of us would know when someone had so much to drink that it is life threatening. How many really drunk people have you seen that didn't die? I'm an adult and I know I wouldn't be able to judge when someone has had so much they could die.
Unfortunately, this same tragedy happened to a first year law student at another school a few months ago. She came in for the evening and her roommates saw her before she went to bed. They were not alarmed by her behavior but she did not wake up - same thing, alcohol poisoning. It is very tragic!

motomom 9 years, 3 months ago

what restaurant served jason margarita's? does anyone know?

Linda Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

redmoon, what an awful story to tell about your ex. And he is over 60, hardly drinks, and his mother is gone. Please get your reality in check.

Do your parents know everything you are doing now? Do you think your ex would post stuff like this about you? I don't think so.

akt2 9 years, 3 months ago

Don't be afraid to take a drunk friend to the ER if there is any question that there could be alcohol poisoning. They medically treat these situations on a regular basis. A simple blood test indicates the alcohol level. If you are at least 18, the privacy laws are on your side. No cops will be contacted. No parents will be immediately contacted. Eventually you will have to tell your parents, but by then the medical crisis has passed, and no one has to die.

dweezil222 9 years, 3 months ago

motomom (Anonymous) says…

what restaurant served jason margarita's? does anyone know?


No one's come right out and said it, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was El Mezcal. They had a reputation for serving underage drinkers when I was in school. Whether that reputation was founded or not, I don't know.

Buggie7 9 years, 3 months ago

Again, it doesnt matter who served him the drinks. Its all about choices. He made poor choices and he paid the price. I understand that the family is grief stricken but cmon really blaming the alcohol is like when the kid a couple of months ago died in the car accident and injured 3 others. There was no one to blame for him getting behind the wheel but himself. This situation is the same. The parents are not to blame here. You can instill everything you can in these kids but ultimatley its going to be THEIR choice. The article needs to be less about blaming and more on about how you can make better choices in your life or you can end up like this young man. Underage drinking is wrong however you are totally naive if you believe that it does not happen. I do agree that it was a poor choice that this young man went from one situation where he was asked to leave the dorms to a frat house. Had my son gotten kicked out of the dorms, he would be working his butt off and paying for his own off campus place. Im not going to pay the money for him to be in a Frat where I know there is alcohol (again if you didnt think that there would not be heavy drinking there you are naive).

ictgal 9 years, 3 months ago

My condolences to the Wren family and Jason's friends. It would be normal for Mr.Wren to wonder why someone couldn't have saved his son. I recently had to take a 22 yr old to the ER for alchohol poisoning. He had a strict step-father who used a breathalyzer on him and his siblings all through high school. When he finally got freedom he knew no boundaries. Now he is in substance abuse therapy and found out he has a personality disorder that once he starts drinking he can't stop. To him, more was better.
He needed help. He is getting it now. Lots of people could have stepped in to help Jason... including KU Housing by requiring him to get counseling as to why he couldn't obey the rules. My heart goes out to everyone who knew Jason.

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

For those blaming the dad for "letting" his son move into the fraternity after getting kicked out of the dorm, has it occurred to you that perhaps he thought Jason would be safer there, living with a houseful of friends rather than alone in an apartment? Secondly, he had joined the fraternity. He undoubtably would have been there Saturday night wether or not he lived there. When I was at KU, I majored in sex, alcohol and rock n roll. I always thought I might have taken college more seriously had I gone away to college, being a townie and all. But the college experience is what you make it. And when I lived at McCollum, the girls in my hall had margarita parties every weekend. No need to go out and get them at some restaurant, which, by the way, I think is also getting undeserved blame. He started out the night there with a couple of margaritas. That's not what killed him. Fine, let's crack down on carding. I never bothered trying to drink anywhere that would card me when I was underaged. I just drank at off-campus parties.

Oh, for those that want to restrict alcohol, how about Red Bull? Isn't that the thing to mix with alcohol so you stay awake longer so you can drink more?

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

No one is blaming the alcohol. They are saying the cause of death was alcohol poisoning. No one is blaming the gun in a shooting. Quit being so literal.

bellatrix10 9 years, 3 months ago

SAE could be partly to blame. I dated a guy my freshman year who had just moved into the house and the upperclassmen would force them to drink all the time.

1210JayHwk 9 years, 3 months ago

"SAE could be partly to blame. I dated a guy my freshman year who had just moved into the house and the upperclassmen would force them to drink all the time."

Really? What was his name?

I lived in that house for 3 years and was never ONCE forced to drink anyting. In fact, the upper classmen leaders were more concerned with getting us to drink LESS than drink more.... no joke.

So please enlighten us bellatrix10, the guy you dated, what was is name? I surely know him.

1210JayHwk 9 years, 3 months ago

In fact, as pledges, we weren't even ALLOWED to go out during the week. Friday and Saturday were it. If we were caught going out during the week we were kicked out. There are a lot more rules in a frat that some people think. Being a pledge does not = getting hammered every night / being a sloppy drunk all week long. Being a pledge in fact pretty much sucks. Out of our pledge class of around 26, at least 3 or 4 were kicked out for excessive drinking, others were kicked out for not going to class.

That's the way it works in about 99% of fraternities.

bellatrix10 9 years, 3 months ago

That really doesn't matter. He did, however, eventually move out of the house because all his "brothers" would do was drink and smoke pot. Everyone knows SAE's reputation, I'm not surprised that you are defending them since you are one of them.

1210JayHwk 9 years, 3 months ago

Not necessarily defending, just telling my personal story. No doubt drugs and alcohol are used there as well as every other residence housing in Lawrence. Everyone knows that. If you don't, you are blind. People get life flighted from Naismith, people fall out of windows in Oliver, students use drugs and alcohol all over the place, fraternities, houses, dorms, it doesn't matter where anyone was living.

And using anecdotal evidence to try and support your story basically discredits you. As many have pointed out, the police investigation has been completed. The kid drank himself to death, by his own power. He wasn't forced. Simple as that. There is no need to enlighten us with the "my boyfriend" story, or the "this person I know or that person i know" story.

That kind of stuff is generally ignored by credible readers. Relying on the facts is much more appealing to people's opinion.

verity 9 years, 3 months ago

One thing that I haven’t seen addressed---granted I might have missed it on the long way down, but---why does our culture seem so often to equate drinking alcohol with having a good time? Maybe that is something that should be addressed when we’re searching for answers to this problem. Can’t we enjoy life without having an altered reality? And in what universe is getting falling down drunk enjoyable?

Is it just me, or aren’t there more interesting things to do with one’s time? I’m certainly not opposed to alcohol---a stiff drink after a stressful day can work wonders, but it seems to me that at least part of the problem might be our culture’s obsession with drinking to have a good time.

None2 did bring up the subject of keeping kids from being bored and I think he/she has a good point. That along with education.

Any opinions, for or against?

lenovo 9 years, 3 months ago

"That really doesn't matter. He did, however, eventually move out of the house....."

Haha don't you guys love it when people get called out on their own bullsh*t and can't defend their statements? I find that so amusing. And it happens all too often on these stupid discussion boards.

That dude asked her who she dated and then explained that they tried to make their pledges drink LESS.

She responded "well all of that doesn't matter".

Riiighht, so she just sidestepped the question and basically got called out on her statement that they forced her b/f to drink all the time... because she couldn't back it up. Obviously a case of some idiot using the classic "well my boyfriend blah blah blah.." story.

She just got served. Lol.

CPA1984 9 years, 3 months ago

It's really pathetic to read all of your heartless comments. I think it is very rude to post comments about him being stupid with alcohol and getting kicked out of the dorms. It is not the fathers fault, how many times do you see a parent of a college student following them around every second of the day? You don't! He is an adult. I feel really bad for the family to have to read all these immature posts from all of you. They just lost their son and this is your response? I'm sorry, but you guys need to care a little bit less about yourselves and a little more about other people. I'm sure all of your parents wouldn't want to read these posts after losing their child. Grow up a little.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Jason's family.

lenovo 9 years, 3 months ago

when are you idiots going to realize that the frat is not going to close? If it were going to get suspended it would have happened already.

why not close the restaurant? why not close the liquor store? hell, lets just ban alcohol altogether!

by your logic, every time someone gets into a fatal car accident we should just close the dealership where they bought the car right?

once again, this had nothing to do with where or how the person drank, just the fact that they drank too much way too fast.

lovenhaight 9 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps she doesn't want to post the name of the SAE brother she's referring to because that would disclose her identity...and thus leave her open to ridicule by his friends/brothers.

Sorry to be so logical, guys.

jonas_opines 9 years, 3 months ago

"They just lost their son and this is your response?"

It's the standard response. Best to just stay away.

alove27 9 years, 3 months ago

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

polarbear 9 years, 3 months ago


i think the problem is the father has been quoted several times criticizing the fraternity and fraternity life. one quote was - one week in a fraternity and my son is dead.

that may have been taken out of context, but whenever that happens, no matter how right the quote is, there is bound to be someone on the ready to bounce back.

in fairness to SAE, the quantity of alcohol rumoured to have been consumed by the boy was substantial. if this is a mistake many young people are making (drinking 11 beers, a margarita and whiskey - all in one night), then those young people need to learn what they are doing to themselves and also consider they may have a drinking problem.

i, myself, have a drinking problem but have never had this much to drink in one night.

further, do not let your heart be troubled over these blogs. the people here in kansas are heartbroken over this young boys death. i have had 2 young greek people staying at my house since sunday night because they are so saddened by this boys death. our friends at church comforted them. we are doing all we can to ease their burden. they feel heartsick.

this age group has become immune to seeing each other drink massive quantities of alcohol. if the schools can't stop it (they've tried), maybe educating them on looking for signs of alcohol poisoning or potential poisoning would help.

but it doesn't matter, this boy is still gone. this is the second friend my daughter has lost to alcohol abuse in the past year. she was friends with the boy at oliver dorm, too.

close down the blog pages and don't read them. i hope jason's father doesn't read them. if it were me, i would have said the same things, been quoted, then bombarded by criticism.

there's no win.

shockchalk 9 years, 3 months ago

lenovo, you are the one who sounds like an idiot. Your ignorance on this subject is amazing. Did you even graduate from school? Of course, this tragedy had something to do with "where" it happened. This type of behavior is common for that fraternity as well as many other's and his "brothers" bear some of the blame.

By the way, isn't drinking way too much, too fast equivilant to "how he drank"? Your post is idiotic.

My prayers go out to his family and his friends.

Jim Williamson 9 years, 3 months ago

"...when we would all sit around and drink, he was never the drunkest. never once did i see him pass out, get sick, or make a fool of himself..."

And that absolves him of responsibility how?

As a bigtime Liberal, I can't avoid wondering why, in America, either everyone's to blame or no one's to blame. RIP, Personal Accountability. If this kid drinks two fewer beers and tries to drive to BK and hits an oncoming car and kills a family of tfour in a car accident, he's a screw-up. But since he died, he can't be blamed.

That don't wash, kids.

jayhawk3r 9 years, 3 months ago

it doesnt absolve him of responsibility... i know that he was responsible for his actions. the message i was trying to get across was that he wasn't labeled as an out of control drunk frat guy that he is being coined up as. he was smart, devoted, and so incredibly down to earth.

he had a lapse in judgement... which resulted in his death.

and there is personal accountability. people are saying jason is to blame. i think all points needing to be made have been made... everyone has been blamed, and everyone has been defended.

jason's death was his own fault, but he left behind family and a LOT of friends that love him very much and miss him so so so much.

bigtexasdude7 9 years, 3 months ago

"either everyone's to blame or no one's to blame."

Everyone is to blame. Why? Because a nice kid is dead due to a lack of common sense. I didn't know him, but everyone has said he was a nice, smart kid. How can anyone pass the buck on this? Family? Yes. Like many others, if I would've gotten thrown out on my dorm, pops would have yanked me from school. Friends? Certainly. A guy who was smashed or at least drunk walked around the frat with a bottle of whiskey in his hands and nothing was done until it was too late.And of course the people who served a minor booze helped out too. Tragically, it ends up in his plate, which is where it started. I am sorry for his family and friends and words are not enough for you. But don't blame people for being interested. Thanks to his actions and his father's words, this is now very public. I am sad because it could have happened to me and a lot of you. Almost no one wants or expects KU to be a dry campus, but something needs to change after a kid drinks himself to death and a lot of people are not shocked or surprised.

lenovo 9 years, 3 months ago

"Did you even graduate from school? "

HAHAHAHAHA the standard insult on all message boards...

"um, um, um oh, um did you graduate?"

lol, sweet life shockchalk.

1210JayHwk 9 years, 3 months ago

have to agree... shockchalk wants to know who here has graduated school in order to assign credibility to who's comments matter where!

shockchalk, makes you sound like somewhat of an idiot.

khawk1949 9 years, 3 months ago

The worst thing in the world is to out live your child. I feel very sorry for this family.

bigtexasdude7 9 years, 3 months ago

"Alcohol abuse due to lack of education was the cause....."

Didn't his dad say he was good at math? He must have lost count on what he had drunk. I guess his friends did too. But will they remember next weekend? next month? Do you really think anyone is going to remember this kid whether it is a construction worker, a student or a cop? This is a terrible thing, but I wouldn't bet against it happening again.

Again, I am sorry for their family and their friends. The whole thing is just awful. I would hate for it to happen again, especially to my cousin who goes to KU now.

behavioranalyst 9 years, 3 months ago

"If the frat was going to get shut down it would have happened already"...

Thats a big load. For sigma nu it took almost 2 years after the "hazing" incident to have the house shut down. The house will be put on probation by the IFC and national organization. Then the IFC and national organization will set up some "strict rules" regarding what the members of the house are aloud to do on and off the house property. If the members can't follow those rules then the house will be shut down.

k1s013 9 years, 3 months ago

1210JayHwk ......

You say that you cannot drink except on Fridays and Saturdays right?...So how is it that once the weather gets nice, you boys sit on your lawn, blasting loud music, playing beer pong, and washers??

shockchalk 9 years, 3 months ago

No 1210 Jayhawk, you and lenovo are the real losers because you think the frat would already be closed if that was going to happen and the paper this morning obviously disagree's. As I said earlier, lenovo saying that where this happened had no bearing on what happened is idiotic. Your statement "that's what happens in 99% of fraternities" is equally idiotic and begs the question of whether or not you ever belonged to a fraternity, let alone an instituion of higher ed.

kgg2000 9 years, 3 months ago

. . . but we don't care when someone dies . . . under a bridge or in an alley, from alcohol. It is sad, though. It can take out the amateurs as well as the professionals.

Jim Williamson 9 years, 3 months ago

'"Everyone is to blame. Why?"

I wasn't saying that. I was saying that in America today, the prevailing thought is that either everyone is to blame or no one is. That's why personal responsibility -- in particular, someone stepping up and saying, "I screwed up" -- is dead.

"How can anyone pass the buck on this?"

I don't know, but some folks are doing their best.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.