Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

U-Idaho Cracks Down On Low GPAs, Frat Parties In Anti-Drinking Effort

The University of Idaho is prepared to expel low-performing students and require permits for frat parties as part of an effort to curb underage drinking.

The announcement from the university in Moscow comes on the heals of a similar set of measures proposed just across the border at Washington State University in Pullman.

Don Burnett is the interim president of the University of Idaho. He says alcohol abuse has become “a cancer” on higher education across the country. He's proposed a minimum GPA for new students in their first semester.

“It's abundantly clear that people who achieve less than a 1.0 that not only is college not the right time and right place for them, but there usually is an external factor – such as drinking – that usually is contributing to this very poor start on a college education.”

Burnett has also proposed broadening the student code of conduct to include off-campus behavior. Also, freshmen will now have to pass a three-hour course on the effects of alcohol. The university plans to hire two new staff members to help administer the programs.

The University of Idaho may also adopt some of WSU's new tactics – like making more dorms alcohol free, even for students 21 and over. WSU's plan to add more Friday morning classes is not yet in the cards for Idaho students.

Last year, a University of Idaho student died of hypothermia after a night of drinking at a frat party.