Drinking Ban at U. of Oklahoma Frats

Drinking will be banned at University of Oklahoma (search) fraternities and residence halls under new policies announced Wednesday, two months after a 19-year-old student died of alcohol poisoning.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren (search) said the rules will go into effect Jan. 18 at the start of the new semester. Three violations will end in a student's suspension for one semester.

The university also will set up a hot line for students to report violations, and will expand alcohol education programs.

Drinking is already prohibited at sororities.

Boren will present the policies to the Board of Regents Monday for approval. Regents have been involved in creating the plan and support it.

"These policies send a strong signal that alcohol abuse will not be tolerated at the University of Oklahoma," Boren said.

Student Blake Hammontree (search) died Sept. 30 after a Sigma Chi fraternity party. He had a blood-alcohol content more than five times the legal limit. The frat has since been shut down.

Police are still investigating the death and several fraternity members have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. One student, a sophomore, has been charged with furnishing alcohol to another minor at the party.

"The investigation continues and other charges are anticipated," said Cleveland County District Attorney Tim Kuykendall.

Similar recent incidents have been reported at campuses, including Colorado State, where student Samantha Spady had consumed as many as 40 drinks when she was found dead at a fraternity house in September.

Also this fall, Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr. died after he was taken to the mountains near the University of Colorado with fellow Chi Psi fraternity pledges and told not to leave until several bottles of whiskey were finished. Bradley Kemp of the University of Arkansas died after downing a dozen beers and, friends said, possibly other drugs.