High-Risk Drinking in College: What We Know and What We Need To Learn
In the photos they are both smiling—under the birth and death dates that mark two more
college students’ lives cut short by alcohol.
Jonathan “Jon” Levy was a popular athlete at Radford University in Virginia who was on
track to make the dean’s list. During his sophomore year, he decided to major in business and
join his father’s company upon graduation. On October 31, 1997—Halloween night —after
consuming alcohol at a party on campus, Jon and two other students decided to drive to a
fraternity party in a nearby town. On the way the driver lost control of the car and crashed
head-on into oncoming traffic, instantly killing himself, Jon and the driver of the other car
(Report of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Drinking by College Students, 1998).
Leslie Baltz was a fourth-year honor student at the University of Virginia (U.Va.),
majoring in studio art and art history. She had studied early Italian art in Florence for
part of her junior year, and had just begun work on her senior honors thesis on early
American sculpture. On November 29, 1997, Leslie went to the traditional pre-game parties,
where heavy drinking often occurs, before U.Va.’s annual football game against Virginia Tech.
Leslie, who usually did not drink heavily, did not feel well after the party and told her
friends she was going to stay behind and not go to the stadium for the game. When her friends
returned that evening to celebrate after U.Va.’s decisive victory over its rival, Leslie was
lying unconscious at the bottom of a flight of stairs. She died the next day from fatal head
injuries sustained in the fall (Report of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Drinking by
College Students, 1998).
The Task Force on College Drinking
The Panel on Contexts and Consequences
Epidemiology of Alcohol Use Among College
Surveying The Damage: Consequences of College
Student Alcohol Consumption
Understanding College Drinking From a
Issues for College Administrators
Summary And Conclusions
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Last reviewed: 9/23/2005