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Fresno State Delays Rush Week

The university wants students to adjust to college life and learn about the dangers of alcohol overdose before allowing them to join a fraternity or sorority.
Fresno State is taking the “Rush” out of Rush week.  Typically, incoming students would be signing up for fraternities and sororities next week, but this semester it's been pushed back to September 23rd.

“I think it's in the best interest of the students as well as the university," said Dr. Paul Oliaro, Vice President of Student Affairs.

Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Paul Oliaro, wants to give potential pledges extra time to adjust to college life.

“Take some classes, take some exams and know what the academic rigors are,” said Dr. Oliaro.

“I think it's personally beneficial," said Jacqueline Balletto, President of the Panhellenic Association.

Jacqueline Balletto is a senior who helps oversee fraternities and sororities.  She voted in favor of the delay.

"Just to have a better feel for campus and see if this is something they actually want to do instead of rushing into it and get overwhelmed with the process," said Balletto.
Students who do choose to rush will be introduced to the Protect Your Dogs campaign which focuses on the dangers of alcohol poisoning.

A real life example dates back to last august when Fresno State Freshman Philip Dhanens was forced to drink large doses of hard liquor in a short amount of time.  He died after his blood alcohol level reached 0.40.

"What this will do is make them all more aware," said Dr. Oliaro.
To try and prevent more tragedies the Watchdog program is also being launched.  A total of 50 students will go through C.P.R. training during two sessions which will be held September 14th and November 2nd.  Those who complete the course will receive a special t-shirt and wrist watch.  They are encouraged to wear those at all social events to let folks know that they are certified to save a life.

"I think it will be a great idea and I hope people are encouraged to do it too," said Balletto.

The university is holding all Greek pledges more accountable as well.  They must complete new member education programs before final exams begin.  In the past, there was no deadline.

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