MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota is taking a hard look at drinking culture on campus, asking all Greek organizations to review policies and procedures surrounding alcohol.
This comes after 20-year-old Dylan Fulton was found dead at a frat house on campus on September 12th.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office has now confirmed excessive drinking was to blame.
Substance abuse expert Dr. Joseph Lee with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation says a culture of excessive drinking is also to blame and he says it's not just a problem in the Greek community, but in all parts of campus life, at campuses nationwide.
“The problem is we still stigmatize it. We don’t think it’s our kids. We don’t think it’s in our neighborhood, on our campus. It’s everywhere and all of us are affected by it,” Dr. Lee says.
Lee says the problem is incoming students are shown two conflicting cultures, one of academic excellence and success, and another of all night parties and excessive drinking.
"We clearly send very funny, but mixed messages out in the media, in movies," Lee says.
“These two cultures don’t mix, it’s a culture clash and it’s a confusing message we send.”
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates around 1,825 college students die from alcohol-related injuries every year.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there just over 4,600 colleges in the United States.
That means, a student at one out of every three colleges will die from alcohol this year.
“These problems are occurring at rates that are concerning to all of us,” Dr. Lee says.
Lee is encouraging campus officials nationwide to look beyond just fraternities and sororities, because he argues the pervasive culture of excessive drinking can be found in all corners of campus life.
“I think more is being done every year and the awareness is growing and that’s good news, but unfortunately we still have these mixed messages on campus,” Lee explains.
“It’s going to take all of us to reshape college campuses so that they can be safe environments for young people so they can have fun while also aspire to be young adults who contribute to our society.”
A spokesperson for Fraternity and Sorority Life on U of M campus says the group will meet with leaders of every Greek organization on campus by the end of the month.
The recent death on campus has also prompted 28 fraternities to ban hard alcohol at all social outings unless it's brought in and poured by a third-party vendor.