PEORIA, Ill. As Bradley University accepted another award this week for its efforts to curb binge drinking, students on campus mourned a senior who authorities say had been drinking for more than 12 hours before he died.
Robert Schmalz, 22, died Sunday. He was not breathing when friends found him in his room at an on-campus house.
Chief Deputy Coroner Johnna Ingersoll said she was awaiting toxicology results to determine the cause of death. But students said Schmalz and his Phi Kappa Tau fraternity were celebrating the end of the fall pledge process, known as rush, with a party where alcohol flowed freely.
Schmalz, who majored in psychology, was scheduled to graduate in December from the 6,100-student university. He had been arrested Aug. 31 for driving under the influence and his license was suspended.
His death cast a pall over the campus, where a candle burned in front of the fraternity house and an American flag flew at half-staff at a neighboring frat. A university spokeswoman said administrators had not decided whether to take any action against Schmalz's fraternity.
On Tuesday, university officials picked up the school's sixth consecutive award from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse.
For several years, Bradley has tried to reduce binge drinking by emphasizing moderation, said Ray Baker, director of the school's Center for Wellness and Counseling. Students are also urged to use designated drivers.