Officials seek solution to stop fraternity falls

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MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) -- University officials are looking for solutions in response to a series of falls from campus buildings in Idaho and Washington, mostly at fraternities and involving alcohol.

The falls -- five since September -- at the University of Idaho and Washington State University campuses have alarmed officials, who acknowledge the challenge they face in changing student attitudes on alcohol and minimizing dangerous behavior.

"Obviously, we need to do more with them to help them think through what are the possibilities for accidents," Washington State University Dean of Students Melynda Huskey told the Lewiston Tribune.

The latest rash of falls began in September when a University of Idaho student suffered serious injuries after falling from the roof of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Two days later, a WSU student was hospitalized after falling three stories from a window in the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.

In early October, a WSU student fell from the third-story balcony of the Buffalo Creek apartments in Pullman and had to be taken to a Spokane hospital. In what officials called a miracle, another WSU student survived an 11-story plunge from a dormitory when tree branches broke his fall.

In the most recent episode, a WSU student sustained, 19, critical head injures Sunday when he fell backward off a second-story balcony of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

Alcohol consumption was a factor in four of the five falls, officials said.