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Wednesday, February 02, 2005



I have to say that as a Chico State Grad (class of '90), I did not see any difference between the amount or intesity of partying there than at any of the other universities that I visited during those years. When I started Chico State in the fall of '87, it was the year that Playboy labeled Chico State the #1 party school in the nation. That same year, and over the next several years, I spent weekends at UC Davis, Cal Poly SLO, UNLV, LMU (a CATHOLIC school), San Diego State, and UCLA. Each one of those schools had a similar atmosphere when it came to partying.

In my experience, since the Playboy designation as the #1 party school back in '87, Chico State has been under the microscope for alcohol related issues. Don't get me wrong, I think that this is a good thing, but it pains me to see Chico singled out. It makes this problem appear to be worse there than anywhere, and I have a hard time believing that. Now, no doubt there are groups of people who enroll at Chico State each year because of the school's reputation, but I don't think that it is perpetuated by the University itself. It is a shame, because I got a GREAT education there, and I think that people tend to discount it as credible place to learn because of the media attention to the partying.

All of that being said, I think that making people aware of the dangers and of the carelessness that often accompanies drinking (especially with young people) is a noble deed. Thank you for keeping this issue in YOUR headlines. Constant reminders are the most effective.

someone in the know

Why would you reduce yourself and your website to slamming students? You think that this instance of minors being supplied with alcohol is isolated? Uncommon even? That student that supplied alcohol to the pledge was not even there when he drank it. Know the facts before you reduce yourself to slander and speculation.


Dear "Someone In the Know" -- why wouldn't you sign your real name? --

""Libel" involves the publishing of a falsehood that harms someone. Slander is the same doctrine applied to the spoken word. Collectively, they are referred to as "defamation". Both are a matter of state laws, which usually (not always) require that the falsehood be intentional.

It is a fact that Mr. Hallmeyer purchased alcohol for minors to consume. That's against the law, no matter how common it is.

This section of this blog is about kids killing themselves with booze. It is unnecessary, this binging. The culture of "taking your liquor like a man" is also unneccessary.

It isn't necessary for the purveyor to be present to be charged.

Student pleads not guilty in alcohol overdose

By TERRY VAU DELL - Staff Writer

OROVILLE - As Chico State University is pondering what action it will take, a fraternity member was in court Monday facing criminal charges in connection with the alcohol overdose of an underage pledge.

Kevin Hallmeyer, 21, pleaded not guilty in Butte County Superior Court to 10 misdemeanor counts of furnishing alcohol to minors, which could carry up to one year in jail.

The Chico State senior is accused of supplying vodka to 10 underage pledges at the Sigma Chi fraternity house Jan. 20.

A Butte College pledge, Richard Amador, 19, passed out after reportedly "chugging" a large quantity of the alcohol. He survived after being rushed to the hospital with a reported 0.496 percent blood-alcohol level - about six times the legal limit.

Criminal proceedings against Hallmeyer were postponed two weeks so his lawyer can discuss a possible settlement with the district attorney.


PM Dusters
CSU, Chico

The Chico State student said he is now actively trying to use his own experience to promote a greater awareness of alcohol abuse on campus.

Sigma Chi, the fraternity involved in the near-fatal alcohol consumption, is currently under suspension pending the outcome of an investigation - expected to be concluded within the next few weeks - by the university.

Because of two recent unrelated high-profile fraternity deaths, the university could take harsher measures than it might normally, said Rick Rees, Associate Director of Student Activities.

Rees said Monday that Sigma Chi could face anything from probation to loss of its local and national fraternity recognition and that any individual fraternity members, including Hallmeyer, found liable for giving alcohol to minors could face a simple reprimand to suspension or even expulsion from the university.

Less than two weeks after the alcohol overdose, Matthew Carrington, 21, a Chico State business major, died during an alleged water-hazing ritual while pledging Chi Tau, a Chico fraternity that had lost its charter in 2001 for repeated alcohol violations.

Eight Chi Tau members have been charged with criminal hazing and four are also facing involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with Carrington's death.

In October 2000, a Chico State freshman, Adrian Heideman, 18, died after he choked on his own vomit after drinking a bottle of blackberry brandy during a pledge initiation for the now-abolished Pi Kappa Phi fraternity in Chico.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey has said that unlike the two fraternity deaths, the non-fatal alcohol overdose in January did not appear to be part of an initiation ceremony.

And, unlike Heideman, who had allegedly been left in a basement room alone to die, when Amador passed out, he was taken to the hospital by Sigma Chi's president and Hallmeyer, the student accused of buying the alcohol that night.

Outside of court Monday, Hallmeyer's attorney, Bill Portanova of Sacramento, said he hopes to meet with the local district attorney to resolve the case against his client quickly.

"Kevin is a good kid ... He wants to take responsibility and hopefully some good will come of this."

Hallmeyer is helping to organize an alcohol awareness program on campus dubbed "Lifesavers 2005," possibly during "Greek Week" later this month, to try to get underage students not to drink and adult students to drink responsibly and "look out for their friends."

He plans to talk to students about the sobering effect his own experience has had on his life.

"College is a time to be curious and to learn, but not about the inside of a hospital," observed the accused fraternity member outside of court Monday.


As a member of a social fraternity at a small school in Missouri, I must say I'm slightly put off by your generalization of the 'heavy drinkers' that you seem to be calling all members of Sigma Chi (and note, I am NOT a Sigma Chi). I am not a heavy drinker. I do drink, as do most--but not all--members of my fraternity, but we do so in moderation. We have never had a member suffer alcohol poisoning, and hopefully never will. And while I do agree with your statement that the notion of 'taking your liquor like a man' is stupid, saying that kids are 'killing themselves' with alcohol isn't fair either--some of us like to drink now and then because we enjoy it. Not everyone goes out and gets completely obliterated so they don't remember their evening, even though I know it happens. And, by the way, your snide comments added into the informative article really make you look bad--and I'm not talking about the statistical points you bring up to clarify the physiological effects of alcohol--so why don't you let people read and judge for themselves?


I think it's unfair to target just these Chico students. As a teen who grew up in Chico now attending CSU Fresno, I must tell you that these problems are everywhere.
Also, the fact that supplying minors with alcohol is illegal is a moot point. Jaywalking is illegal. In Chico, bowling on the sidewalk is illegal. Parking more than 18 inches away from the sidewalk is illegal. The real travesty here is the blatant lack of respect for alcohol shown by these students. Alcohol is something to be enjoyed in moderation, not consumed in excessive quantities.
And while I will admit that CPR will not svae the life of a person with a BAC of .496, the article noted that the fraternity will be using the clinic to teach people about alcohol poisoning. This will likely be more effective than the dogmatic conemnation of alcohol consumption by authority figures in the community.

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