Nova Scotia

Acadia student dies after heavy drinking

A 19-year-old Acadia University student, originally from Calgary, has died after consuming a large amount of alcohol earlier this week.
RCMP said the student was found unconscious in a basement dorm room in the Chipman House residence building. The student died on Thursday. (CBC)

A 19-year-old Acadia University student, originally from Calgary, has died after consuming a large amount of alcohol earlier this week.

RCMP confirmed the teenager died at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax on Thursday. He was transported to hospital in critical condition early Tuesday morning after he was found unconscious in a basement dorm room at the Wolfville, N.S., university.

A cause of death has not been released.

Students at Acadia University told CBC News the student in question was participating in a drinking game on various floors of the Chipman House residence. All official frosh week events are dry, but residences are not.

One witness said the student drank about 40 ounces of alcohol.

A source inside the Chipman House residence said university staff held a meeting on Thursday afternoon to inform all the students who lived there that the 19-year-old had died.

Ben Jessome, the president of the Acadia Students' Union, said many students were upset to hear the news.

"I've spent a bit of time with some of his close friends over the past couple of days and from what I understand he's just the type of guy that everybody loves to be around and a lot of people care a lot about him," Jessome told CBC News.

"People are just pretty shook up right now and it's not a good time at Acadia but we're doing our best to try and be supportive of everybody and there's a lot of good people here on campus that are really stepping up to try and help our family out."

Ray Ivany, the president of Acadia University, said he had spoken with the student's family and offered his condolences.

"It's pretty rough, to be honest. Our thoughts and prayers, first and foremost, are with the family. Just tragic, tragic news," Ivany said.

"We are a family and we will mourn with our student's family."

Earlier on Thursday, Ivany sent a letter to the campus community.


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"Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences are extended to all family members. The university has been informed by the student's family that he has donated his organs but they have requested that no other personal details be released," he wrote.

"I do, however, feel it is important to say that this student was a member of the Acadia family and, during his brief time on campus, established many friendships. His passing will be felt intensely by those individuals and staff and faculty will be reaching out to provide support."

Ivany said earlier this week that he had consulted with Dr. Robert Strang — Nova Scotia's chief public health officer — about the university's safety policies and procedures.

Ivany told CBC News he was committed to a review.

"I think Acadia has always prided itself on being a safe and secure environment and I think we're shaken over that," he said.

"But we also are committed to the review that I announced yesterday with Dr. Strang. We will leave no stone unturned to try to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again."