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University of Illinois Officials Aim to End Deadly Tradition

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — University of Illinois officials are working with law enforcement in Champaign-Urbana to end a student tradition of binge drinking on what’s known as “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day” after a student’s death this weekend.

Twenty-three-year-old Jonathan Morales died over the weekend, becoming the third student to do so in a little more than a decade during “Unofficial” festivities.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says the cause of Morales’ death appears to be consistent with multiple blunt-force injuries suffered in a fall from a fourth-floor balcony Friday night. Police say Morales had been drinking with friends and that the fall is believed to be accidental.

University chancellor Robert Jones says he plans to gather community leaders to help end the tradition before the next observance of “Unofficial.”

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