Perennial Playboy Magazine Top-Ten Party School San Diego State University is in the news following the arrest of some of its students on allegations of illicit drug dealing and drug possession. The San Diego Union Tribune is reporting:
Federal agents and SDSU police culminated a yearlong investigation into drug dealing around campus yesterday, ...Ninety-six suspects, including 75 SDSU students, have been arrested on drug-related charges...The SDSU Police Department approached the DEA and county narcotics task-force officials for assistance in December, when it became clear that the trafficking was more widespread than it could handle.
Investigation seizures by the numbers (sidebar; SOURCE: SD County District Attorney's Office)
- 50: Pounds of marijuana
- 4: Pounds of cocaine
- 3: Semiautomatic handguns
- 1: Shotgun
- 48: Marijuana plants
- 350: Ecstasy pills
- 30: Vials of hash oil
- $60,000: Cash
Sadly, the investigation was sparked by a drug-overdose fatality, albeit of an anonymous undergraduate rather than someone as famous as Heath Ledger or Len Bias. There is also another drug-overdose fatality caught up in this story.
I want to talk about Jennifer Poliakoff and Kurt Baker today.
From a summary of the reporting on the death of Shirley Jennifer Poliakoff on 5/6/07:
Poliakoff, who many called "Jenny," returned to her apartment on May 6 after attending her sorority's formal the previous night. At about 9:40 a.m., Poliakoff's brother, who lived with her in the apartment, found her dead in her bedroom, University Police Lt. Robert McManus said.
Authorities confirmed to NBC 7/39 that the cause of Shirley Jennifer Poliakoff's death was acute cocaine and alcohol intoxication.
From today's MSNBC's coverage of the big drug bust:
Jenny Poliakoff, was found dead in her bedroom a year ago Tuesday after drinking and using cocaine at her sorority's spring formal. She was 19 and a good student, active in a local charity for children with special needs. She wasn't a habitual drug user, her brother said -- just a student who went out to party and made one mistake.
"When they say she overdosed, it sounds really bad. When you hear that, you assume someone in their room doing drugs 24/7, partying all the time and just being a drug addict, and that wasn't the case," Poliakoff said. "She made one mistake and it cost her her life. The big message is it only takes one mistake that could cost you your life or someone else's life."
After Jenny's death, her sorority searched for a way to preserve her memory and decided to hold a walkathon, Jenny's Walk, to raise funds for the San Diego Friendship Circle,...The university's entire Greek community participated,
Well, apparently the "entire Greek community" was not all experiencing a teaching moment...
Again, from the SD UnionTribune sidebar (SOURCE: SD County District Attorney's Office):
- Theta Chi
- Phi Kappa Psi
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon
- Sigma Alpha Mu
- Phi Kappa Theta
- Lambda Chi Alpha
As the investigation was unfolding, the campus dealt with another drug-related death. An autopsy showed that Mesa College student Kurt Baker died Feb. 24 at an SDSU fraternity from oxycodone and alcohol poisoning.
Kurt Baker, 22, lived with members of the Sigma Pi fraternity at San Diego State in the chapter's house.
A friend of Baker's blogged the situation at The Brand.
One of my close friends from high school, Kurt Allen Baker tragically died of an accidental drug overdose in San Diego at his fraternity house early last Sunday morning. Went to a party, got super wasted, and did some Oxycontin with his friends just to top off the night. Topped off the night all right. When his frat bros went into his room the next morning he was surrounded in black blood and vomit. They tried to resuscitate him, and he was transported to the nearby hospital, but died. From a combo of Oxycontin and vodka.
He literally partied to death.
The entry ended with this advice.
With this prescription drug phenom on the rise around our age group, I just beg you guys that if you abuse prescription drugs or have friends that do to stop. I know you don't want to hear it from me, you don't want to be preached to, whatever your reason is...but it will kill you. It killed Kurt. It's not a joke, and it's not a game. It truly ruins lives. Just ask my ex boyfriend and best friend of Kurt, or Kurt's little brother, or dad. Save yourself. Don't be next. Don't make your family and friends bury you.