Fifteen years ago, Samantha Spady died of alcohol poisoning in a frat house at Colorado State University. On the morning of Sept 5, 2004, Spady’s body was found, about 12 hours after her death, as a fraternity member was giving his mom a house tour.

With the approval of Spady’s family, an old classmate named Molly Zamucen, who is now 34, started a GoFundMe page to raise money for a memorial to Spady. According to the Coloradoan, over half of the $5,000 goal has already been raised.

Zamucen is currently working with CSU and hopes the money will go toward a bench on the CSU campus with a plaque in Spady’s honor, along with a list of alcohol poisoning warning signs.

This story made me think of the recent spike in colleges jumping on the beer bandwagon. I did some digging and found a fantastic Forbes article on beer sales at college football games. The author of the article, a former University president, said, “The solution for overextended athletics budgets is not to be found at stadium beer lines; it requires cutting the costs of bloated athletic departments.”

I think back to my college days and I am horrified by the insane amount of alcohol I consumed. As a parent, I am terrified that my daughter will grow up in the binge drinking culture that I experienced.

Honestly, its a wonder I’m alive today as I think on all the nights I passed out in my bathtub or drank Four Lokos (before they removed the caffeine). When I was 19, I was arrested for a Public Intoxication charge and the little drunk tank just kept filling up with women as the night went on. Truthfully, alcohol has never settled well in my system so I was always the lightweight of my group and the first one to puke.

When I was pregnant, I read a news story about the college I went to, Texas State University, where getting plastered and floating the river is a way of life. There was a student that had just left the river and was seen throwing a liquor bottle under her car at the scene of the car collision she caused. The student wandered into oncoming traffic and hit a local couple.

The woman, who was driving the car, was about 5 months pregnant and had recently posted on Facebook that she couldn’t  wait to find out the sex of her baby. The accident killed her husband on impact and she had an emergency C-section, it turns out she was having a baby boy who did not survive. Because I was pregnant when I read this and the story came from my beloved college town, the incident truly shook me to my core and I will never ever forget it.

Over 1800 college students die annual from alcohol-alcohol-related injuries. Not only that but alcohol is a factor in nearly 700,000 sexual assault cases involving students every year.

It seems colleges are sending mixed messages to students by partnering with breweries many of which are allowing brewers to place university logos on their products. For example, University of Texas fans have a new slogan, “Horns Up, Limes In” as a result of their partnership with Corona.

If you are able to help preserve the memory of Spady and give a sobering reminder to incoming freshman for decades to come, please consider donating to Spady's GoFundMe page.

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