Barstool Blackout Tour Leads to Hospitalizations

SC Managing Editor

On Friday, September 15, 2013, the Barstool Blackout Tour returned to East Stroudsburg’s Sherman Theater to a sold out crowd.  The rave-like event led to the hospitalization of eight young adults for MDMA (Molly) overdoses—East Stroudsburg University students included.

“Molly,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is the powder or crystal form of MDMA, which is known for its use in Ecstasy.  Molly is thought of as a pure form of MDMA— as opposed to Ecstasy, which is typically laced with any number of other substances.

The DEA classifies Molly as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which means that it possesses a high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use.  Molly is illegal in the United States.

After several appearances at the Sherman Theater, Barstool Blackout ranked ESU the number one “most under-rated party school” on their website, a controversial title that is not welcomed by much of the ESU community.

“ESU’s rating as a ‘most underrated party school’ on the Barstool Blackout website is nothing more than a marketing ploy to escalate ticket sales,” said Brenda Friday on behalf of the ESU Administration.

“They have no interest in the health and welfare of the attendees but rather want to exploit their extreme behavior as a means of making money.”

ESU’s Student Senate doesn’t believe that this reputation is reflective of the campus community, and opposed the title on September 18, via twitter.

@ESUSenate, “We do not believe the actions of the students that overdosed at ‘Blackout’ is indicative of the character of our entire student body.”

The Sherman Theater released a statement Tuesday, September 17 to respond to the community questioning why this event is welcomed back each time, despite its reputation for enabling the crowd to take the party too far.

“The Sherman Theater recognizes that there will always be a minority of people who enjoy music that will choose to push the limits and partake in illegal drug use or underage drinking,” it read.

“Rather than punish everyone who enjoys this style of music legally, we have put numerous systems in place to discourage the offenders from partaking in our events, thus keeping the remaining individuals safe and identifying the abusers to their family, friends, and in some cases local authorities.”

Kyle Kuczma of the Sherman Theater posted a statement on the Pocono Record Facebook page in reaction to the venue coming under fire for continuing to host these events.

“The sad thing is, we can not control what these kids will do at home, in their apartments, or in their dorms. Molly isn’t some problem that begins at the Sherman Theater- it is something people are doing, along with a host of other drugs, in the privacy of their house,” writes Kuczma.

“To say they get it at Barstool and buy it at the Sherman is an incredibly shortsighted statement. There’s no Barstool event happening any time soon- but I am sure people will still get a hold of this drug from whoever they are getting it from now. But Barstool isn’t in town… who do you blame then for the continuing issue of drug abuse and over-intoxication?”

Barstool Sports was unavailable for comment.

ESU’s University police and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) Prevention office have a number of programs in place to educate students about the dangers of taking partying too far.

On behalf of the administration, Brenda Friday outlined examples of these programs.  She explains that next month is, “OctSOBERfest—a month of programming dedicated to alcohol prevention education activities, mainly in Residence Life.”

Students are cautioned about the effects of taking it too far every time they wash their hands with the installation of plastic holders in the bathrooms that contain flyers that alert students of current news.  Brenda Friday explains that the flyers contained in these holders are “changed monthly, at minimum.”

Senior Sarah Borys thinks that the partying will continue but hopes that students will be smart about it.

“It’s not going to stop—people need that release.  I just hope they keep it legal and they keep it under control,” said Borys.

A major contributor to life on campus, the ESU Campus-Community Coalition’s mission is, “to actively enhance campus-community relationships to improve the safety and well-being of ESU students and the surrounding community,” explains Brenda Friday.

Geoffrey Roche of Pocono Medical Center (PMC) advises students that PMC is actively engaged and a partner with this ESU Campus-Community Coalition.

Roche explains that students should remember this when they have taken the party too far.  Students should always seek help from PMC without being concerned about consequences.

“If anyone ever needs to come to the ER,” says Roche, “first and foremost they will be treated.”

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