Two UW sorority sisters hospitalized with alcohol poisoning

SEATTLE -- Classes don't start for another three weeks, but two University of Washington sorority sisters have already been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.

The students are members of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. They were both rushed to the hospital after they drank too much alcohol, according to the university's director of fraternity and sorority life.

Sorority spokesperson Eily Cummings said the women weren't drinking at the chapter house, but said the sorority holds "all members of Pi Beta Phi to a high moral standard" and expects them to obey all state and local laws -- including underage drinking.

Issues with alcohol at fraternities and sororities isn't just a problem at the UW. Earlier this week, Fresno State delayed its rush week to curb alcohol abuse after a student-hazing death.

The University of Central Florida suspended a fraternity for hosting an unauthorized party that ended with several people passed out. And Washington State University just initiated a new policy that includes, among other steps, a phone call to parents the first time any underage student is caught drinking.

That policy isn't in place at the University of Washington, but underage drinking can lead to expulsion.

"UW does a good job of making sure that we try to consume (alcohol) as safely as possible," said fraternity member Kevin Park.

Park and his fraternity brothers say university police and representatives from the Office of Student Life meet with fraternities and sororities every year to educate them about alcohol abuse.

Representatives from both the university and the sorority say both of the hospitalized students are expected to be fine.