It's a bloody epidemic going on at Washington State University, shit-faced students falling off balconies, and another 18-year-old kid dead with a belly full of booze and a staggering blood alcohol level of 0.40. We always knew getting pie-eyed in the Palouse was a sport and a past-time in the land of Cougs and Keggers, but this is ridiculous.
In less than two months, four young people have gone ass over teakettle from campus housing. Griffin Healey, 19, was the most recent stat. He had the horrible misfortune of falling backward off a second-floor railing from a Lambda Chi Alpha frat house balcony in the wee hours of last Saturday night, smashing his head on a retaining wall.
He's been described by fellow students as a "great guy" with a "super good heart." Of course, that's cold comfort now, as Healey languishes in critical condition at a Spokane hospital.
Other senseless tumbles include the 22-year guy who on Oct. 10 fell 11 stories from Orton Hall -- and miraculously survived. His fall, however, did not involve alcohol. Before that, there the 22-year WSU student injured Sept. 28 when he plunged off a third-story balcony of an off-campus apartment in Pullman, and a 19-year-old student hurt Sept. 14 in a three-story stumble at a fraternity. Booze was the suspected culprit in both those cases.
Perhaps bars should be placed on the windows of all campus housing units, or maybe, as KIRO Radio's Dori Monson suggested during his talk show the other day, go with Las Vegas model -- no balconies and windows that can't be opened, which makes it extremely difficult for despondent gamblers from exiting this veil of tears.
At least we can be grateful for one thing: WSU did not make the top 10 list of Playboy magazine's "party school" rankings this year. Leading the booze parade were the University of Virginia, followed by USC and the University of Florida.