On Campus

Alcohol was a factor in two student deaths at Queen’s

The university should address “culture of drinking,” says coroner

beerA coroner in Kingston, Ont. has ruled that alcohol was a factor in two recent student deaths at Queen’s University — and he’s calling on the school to address the “culture of drinking” on campus. Chief coroner Roger Skinner looked at both the safety of buildings on campus and the level of drinking by students when deciding what caused two young men to plunge to their deaths. Cameron Bruce, 18, died on Sept. 14, 2010 after falling out of a university residence window. Habib Khan, 19, of Saudi Arabia, died on Dec. 2, 2010 when he crashed through a library skylight. Among the coroner’s recommendations are that student safety be removed from the jurisdiction of the student judiciary, which is part of the student government. Queen’s Principal Daniel Wolf wrote a blog post today in which he said he takes the coroner’s recommendations seriously, but did not say whether the jurisdiction for safety would change. Here’s an excerpt from the post:

“Like other universities across North America, we are wrestling with the societal issue of alcohol consumption and excessive drinking in the student-aged population. Queen’s, like other universities, encourages safe and responsible decision-making and good citizenship, and discourages under-age drinking. We expect students to adhere to our Code of Conduct and community standards in residence.”

Photo courtesy of angelocesare on Flickr.

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