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9 college freshmen dead in alcohol-related incidents in first weeks of new school year

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According to a report by Inside Higher Ed, nine college freshmen have already died alcohol-related deaths at campuses across the United States in the first few weeks of the new school year.

Tucker Brantly Arnold, an incoming freshman at Texas Tech, died after fatally crashing his pickup truck on August 19. His blood alcohol concentration was .267, three times over the legal limit. Five other Texas Tech students died in that crash.

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Another Texas Tech freshman, Dalton Debrick, died while rushing the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. The official cause of death, according to the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office, was acute alcohol intoxication.

Amy Murphy, the dean of students at Texas Tech University, blamed these deaths on “the college effect,” which she defined as “the idea that once students are on campus, they’re exposed to these higher-risk behaviors and are then more likely to participate in them.”

“It’s this unhealthy minority that is somehow so influential on the healthy majority,” she continued. “Colleges have to work on better messaging to convey to new students that the majority of campus does actually have the same healthy attitudes as they do.”

Alcohol is also suspected as a contributing factor in the deaths of freshman Austin Vonckx at Florida Gulf Coast University, Jiayi Dai of Michigan State University, Julia Margaret Ratnaraj of Townson University, and Michael Gatto of Georgia Southern University.

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Pete Goldsmith, dean of students at Indiana University at Bloomington, told Inside Higher Ed that “it’s a huge transition and all the support systems are different. For students who have lived in very structured situations and environments, going to a college campus when very suddenly they have this new kind of freedom and new choices to make, it can be pretty overwhelming.”

“Parents and students are so focused on getting into college, there’s not always a lot of attention given to what’s going to happen once they’re actually there,” he continued.

George Koob, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health, told Inside Higher Ed that even though binge drinking among college students has decreased in recent years, alcohol-related hospitalizations have increased by 70 percent.

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“Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen a fairly dramatic increase of alcohol-related hospitalizations in this age group,” he said. “It does seem that there’s an attitude now to drink as fast as possible and as intensely as possible and that’s very dangerous.”

Describing the circumstances around Jiayi Dai’s death, East Lansing Police Captain Jeff Murphy said that it wasn’t unusual for his officers to find students so incapacitated that they required immediate hospitalizations, and “those are just the people that we find in public.”

“If you’re with somebody who is so intoxicated that you feel their life is in danger because they can’t take care of themselves and can’t call for help, you need to do just what our officers do,” he said. “See that they get help one way or another.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Here’s why Trump is right — a recession would likely doom his re-election

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President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"

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WATCH: Climate activists chant ‘failure of leadership’ at Tom Perez after DNC votes against climate debate

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Activists walked out of the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in San Francisco after the organization voted against allowing a climate change debate during the 2020 primary.

DNC Chair Tom Perez imposed strict rules on the debates, which prevented a climate change debate from occurring. Climate activists had forced a vote, hoping to overrule the party boss.

"The Democratic Party needs the energy, motivation, and organizing capacity of young people to defeat Trump in 2020. But Tom Perez keeps shooting the party in the foot by rejecting that energy and turning it away," the Sunrise Movement said in a statement.

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DNC votes against allowing a climate change debate amongst the 2020 hopefuls

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