A total of 10 University students and two visitors were hospitalized on Sunday, Feb. 22. Currently, 11 students were released from Middletown's Middlesex Hospital and Hartford Hospital, and one student remains hospitalized.

Simon Korn/Contributing Photographer

The Argus has published an additional article with updates to this story. Below is the version originally published on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

A total of 10 University students and 2 visitors were hospitalized on Sunday, Feb. 22, for drug overdoses believed to be caused by Molly/MDMA, according to a series of all-campus emails from President Michael Roth and Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Whaley. As of Monday afternoon, four students were released from Middlesex Hospital, four remain at Middlesex for treatment, and four more were transported to Hartford Hospital for further care.

“A Wesleyan sophomore was transported to Middlesex Hospital early this morning and is in critical condition as a result of an apparent overdose,” the first email read. “Two other students were transported in less serious condition but with similar symptoms.”

Just before noon on Monday, Roth sent a follow-up email clarifying the number of students hospitalized and confirming that the complications arose from the use of a version of ecstasy.

“The effects are extremely dangerous, and as of now, four students are in Middlesex Hospital in Middletown (we expect them to be released today) and four others are being cared for at Hartford Hospital,” Roth’s email read. “I ask all students: Please, please stay away from illegal substances the use of which can put you in extreme danger. One mistake can change your life forever.”

Cross Street Fire Station Battalion Chief David Anderson confirmed on Sunday evening that students were taken from the Butterfield dorms, the Foss Hill dorms, and 200 High Street. In a further email on Sunday, Whaley told The Argus that the number of hospitalized students had increased to 11, with a few students checking into the hospital on their own.

A second email in the early afternoon on Sunday informed students of three more hospitalizations and urged all students to ensure that their friends did not require medical attention. Ambulances were present at the Butterfields, West College, and other dorms throughout the day. By 5 p.m., Anderson said the reports coming in to the fire department had slowed significantly.

“We haven’t had any activity for those types of calls in a couple of hours,” Anderson said.

The students are being treated at various hospitals, and Whaley encourages students to stay calm and wait for further updates from the University.

“Several [students] are in serious condition but I can confirm that none have passed,” Whaley wrote in an email to The Argus.

On the evening of Monday, Feb. 23, Associate Manager of Media Relations and Public Relations Lauren Rubenstein released an update.

“At this time, one student remains hospitalized at Middlesex Hospital,” Rubenstein’s email read. “Of the four students at Hartford Hospital, one is being discharged tonight, while three are still being treated.”

The Middletown Police Department released a press release on Monday, Feb. 23.

“We will be looking in to the origin of the drugs taken and determine the extent of the criminal involvement in the case,” the press release reads. “We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to talk to their family and friends about the dangers of taking illegal narcotics. The drug MDMA has been found in and around the community in the past few years.”

Public Safety and the Middletown Police are investigating the situation. Anyone with any information should contact Director of Public Safety Scott Rohde at 860-685-3333 or the Middletown Police Department at (860) 638-4000 or Policeinfo@MiddletownCT.gov. Students can also make a confidential report at 860-685-2345.

Furthermore, according to the press release, any media questions should be directed to Lieutenant Heather Desmond at Heather.Desmond@MiddletownCT.gov.

In Sept. 2014, a number of University students were hospitalized over the course of several weeks after taking MDMA, according to an all-campus email sent by Health Services on Tuesday, Sept. 16 that year.

MDMA stands for methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. According to University Medical Director of the Health Services Department Thomas McLarney in an article published by The Argus on Sept. 18, 2014, the drug is a stimulant and psychedelic substance that increases the amount of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. Effects can include anxiety, dizziness, and elevated heart rate and blood pressure. It takes a period of days to weeks for the brain to recover as the released neurotransmitters must be replaced.

  • brainsfried

    lsd is much safer, unlike MDMA which is known to be neurotoxic

    • 2013alum

      yea that’s the point here. good job…

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, your brains are fried

      • LEARN SOMETHING

        Yeah tell that to the guy who created Apple, educate yourself before you propagate some bullshit on the internet.

      • Anonymous

        Oh so you support the use of LSD?

      • chuck lorenzo

        yah guy i do…is that a problem? Did I rattle your cage little sheep?

      • Anonymous

        Having an identity crisis – maybe you should stop tripping.

      • Alum

        Wow thats a sound philosophy. Take the example of one extraordinary man who would’ve been successful with or without LSD and use that as as the basis for saying LSD is good when all the medical data says you can truly screw yourself up? Wesleyan – Abandon logic all who enter here.

      • Responsible Drug User

        It CAN screw you up, just like skiing can screw you up, just like football, just like pretty much any activity with associated risk. Why do we do these things? Because in the context of all that risk, we find something worthwhile that justifies it. Like in the activities and sports listed, LSD is risky, and like those activities, very few participants experience the actuality of those risks. LSD can provide a user with insights, observations, and understandings that would have otherwise been missed. Oftentimes these experiences shift the paradigm in which we view the world, often for the better

      • Alum

        Responsible drug user, Thank you. That is a cogent and logical explanation. I was going to argue that those other activities don’t delude one into thinking their brain will get screwed up, but then then you mention football…

  • Pingback: Several Students Hospitalized After String of Drug Overdoses | Wesleying()

  • Pingback: 11 Wesleyan Students Sent to Hospital; Possibly Overdosed on Drug Molly • Sober Nation()

  • traplord

    fuck all snitches, yall just make shit worse

    • sriracha

      You mean worse than 11 kids ending up hospitalized in critical condition?

    • Angry Alumni

      How would you like to pay $65k for your daughter to have the privilege of interacting with trap lord??

    • Chief Keef

      Couldn’t agree more A$AP Ferg here. As the poet Chief Keef once wrote, “a snitch nigger, that’s that shit I don’t like.” Truer words have perhaps never been spoken.

      • Angry Alumni

        There are 2 kids in critical condition and you think now is the time for ghetto gang logic? I bet you were rightly at the #blacklivesmatter rallies, what happened since? Lay off the drugs, check out Maya if you want to know what poetry is all about!!

      • Wise Man

        I feel you, my brother. Whoever snitched may be in mortal danger. Listen to these fine words put to paper from pen by the poet Dr. Dre. “I’m L.A.’s “loc”est – hope they don’t have to find out the hard way,like snitch niggaz in the pen that get hit when the guards look the other way…”

  • pathetic

    I wish the focus was on taking care of the sick kids and not “investigating the situation.”
    Pathetic.

    • battery

      I support open drug culture and have just as many qualms with the administration/police as the next guy but I think they’re doing both, to be fair.

    • Wes ’15

      The focus IS on the sick kids. Police are investigating the situation so they can give the doctors more information about the drugs that were taken to help the students as much as possible. Learn your facts.

    • L

      It’s really not all that hard to focus on both.

  • Angry Alumni

    I see that 200 High St address and I can only think of the drug parties from the early 90’s sponsored by a beautiful coed society called Eclectic! They were big fans of putting acid(LSD) into your drinks, not always by choice of course! Roth must go. A leader who has inexplicably focused more on his own idea of safety while ignoring an underground drug world at Wes that has existed for 25+ years does not deserve another day in office.

    • Floreat

      No one at Eclectic would have spiked your drink, you would have to pay extra for that ;)

    • Marie JP

      I am a member of the Class of 1975. Drugs have long been used on elite campuses such as Wesleyan with very little local police action. The students believe themselves to be above all that, and the institutions do not want the local police butting in. So the students think they can use illegal drugs with privileged immunity. And that didn’t start with Michael Roth.

      • Angry Alumni

        The problem is that it didn’t end with him either. Silence is acceptance….

    • More Angry Alumni

      I have to say quite sadly that I must agree with the posts of “Angry Alumni.” This situation is an utter embarrassment and tragedy of historic proportions for our fine school. No, Roth and his administration did not ingest anything physically, but they have clearly choked on their unwritten policy of allowing public safety to look the other way and not properly manage the dorms. What are you going to do now Mr. Roth, close the three dormitories and move the kids to a safer (school-owned) location? Or is that not your responsibility? Or have you finally realized that some college kids simply have a proclivity to engage in irresponsible social conduct, regardless of location, that requires some type of a skilled rather than muted response? I hope that the trustees will please PLEASE finally listen to the frustrated and embarrassed alumni and parents, and help Mr. Roth to resign and end this feeble administration (unless Roth is man enough to do it on his own properly – though demonstrating such strength seems out of character). Please sir, after cooperating with the investigation by giving everyone some clear and detailed insight into the activity in your dorms, and enforcing some needed discipline, it is time for you to leave our institution so that some proper management may finally be put in place. It is too late for you, as well as these injured students – you have obviously failed on your watch, and the school needs to figure out how to move on. Meanwhile, if I were a parent to one of these children I would be asking my kid and the administration some very pointed questions about the dormitory environment. “What the heck is going on inside those dorms, and what is my tuition buying?” Or, more to the point, “may you please now provide my genteel lawyers with copies of your endowment details, your well-drafted and properly-enforced dormitory policies, and any information showing whether the school had any prior knowledge of any type of substance abuse issues on school property?”

      God, I hope these kids are ok.

      • North College

        From a news article at
        http://www.cbs46.com/story/28174488/wesleyan-campus-rocked-by-student-overdoses :

        “The drug MDMA has been found in and around the community in the past few years,” police said.

        Right now, the university has no plans on hitting the Eclectic Club with any penalties. They see this more as a venue that some of the students attended. ”

        Yep – no problems or inconsistencies known here. No need to look in the mirror. No need for enforcement or closure of facilities. The alumni and parents are wrong. Move along, everything is fine.

    • wes techie

      drugs on campus long before roth. i was tripping for housing lottery ’77; chem students were famous purveyors of best east coast acid in ’60s

      • Angry Alumni

        The Russell House was built by John Wadsworth Russell. He had the largest American trading company in China during the early/mid 1800’s, aka opium smuggler. Opium has been right been next to campus since the beginning. I like to think back to when Wes had the largest endowment per student back in 1960 as a motivator but to each his own!!

    • 90sWes

      Ummm I lived at Eclectic/200 high street in the early 90s and no one ever spiked anyone’s drink with acid. (without their knowledge). And- most of us in Eclectic were not interested in LSD.

    • Mikey Roth

      You were probably one of the gullible freshman we sold “smart drinks” to at Eclectic parties for extra cash, they were kool-aid spiked with water, so as not to dilute the money we made.

    • Responsible Drug User

      yeah that’s the last time i’m buying molly from president roth

  • DKE Bro

    I hope they get better…. and then get arrested and expelled.

  • Pingback: 11 Wesleyan University students overdose on Molly: officials - World News Online()

  • Basm

    It is crucial to find out who produced this and stop it’s distribution and further consumption.

  • Pingback: Nearly a dozen Connecticut students hospitalized after taking MDMA - Middle East Post | Middle East Post()

  • Pingback: Nearly a dozen Connecticut students hospitalized after taking MDMA – Al Jazeera America | Auto Repair Store()

  • genderequality

    It seems very unlikely that they consumed actual good quality MDMA, which is what the term “molly” is theoretically supposed to refer to. It’s much harder to overdose on actual MDMA than the public typically assumes; most overdoses are caused by drugs like PMA/PMMA or synthetic cathinones (bath salts) which are advertised as molly or make up part of an ecstasy pill, sold by unscrupulous or ignorant dealers. These compounds are far more dangerous and unpredictable than MDMA alone.

    Now I’m not saying MDMA is good for you – there is evidence of its neurotoxicity at higher doses and when combined with overheating, and it’s certainly possible to overdose if you take significantly more than a typical recreational dose.

    If it was just 1 person overdosing then it could well be regular old MDMA. If it’s 11 people overdosing on it together then it was almost certainly something else… the odds just don’t make sense. If modern universities want to make their campuses safer they should consider advocating harm-reduction, and offer services like drug identification testing. Wesleyan students have always and will always experiment with drugs like MDMA and LSD… a better harm-reduction strategy will keep them from accidentally experimenting with PMA, PMMA, Methylone, MDPV, NBOMes, etc, which can all hurt you much more easily.

    • Guest1

      I would have to agree with everything you have said.

    • Annie Box

      Very sensible insights, here, folks. I certainly wish more people would pay attention to this kind of reasoning. I completely agree with genderequality’s comments. Hoping for a speedy recovery for those students who took that mystery substance.

    • Annie Box

      Very sensible insights, here, folks. I certainly wish more people would pay attention to this kind of reasoning. I completely agree with genderequality’s comments. Hoping for a speedy recovery for those students who took that mystery substance.

    • L

      “Wesleyan students have always and will always experiment with drugs like MDMA and LSD… a better harm-reduction strategy will keep them from accidentally experimenting with PMA, PMMA, Methylone, MDPV, NBOMes, etc, which can all hurt you much more easily.”

      And just how do you plan to enforce that distinction?

      • genderequality

        The key word here is “accidentally.” There will always be some people interested in experimenting with novel compounds like NBOMes or ‘bath salts’, but they’re consumed far more often by unsuspecting users who think they’re ingesting LSD and MDMA, respectively. Any drug can involve some amount of physical or psychological risk, but some of these substitute compounds are significantly riskier due to their low effective dose to overdose ratios, more erratic acute effects from one person to the next, and lack of data regarding long term health implications.

        Harm reduction in this case would involve spreading campus awareness of the existence of these compounds and the relative dangers of them, information on how to identify and test them, and ideally providing anonymous testing services to students. The biggest challenge to this is often political/institutional, but a university as progressive as Wesleyan could be a pioneer here if they wanted to. This would require the administrators to discard any zero-tolerance perspective towards drug use in favor of an uncomfortable but candid acknowledgement of reality and a renewed focus on harm reduction.

        It’s time to roll up your sleeves and set an example, Mr. Roth! Your students’ well-being is counting on it.

        To anyone reading this who may be interested in harm reduction and drug testing information, I recommend checking out bunkpolice and dancesafe

      • Marie JP

        Your very discussion is one of many reasons I have never been interested in using/trying/experimenting with such drugs. I never wished to put myself in such harm. Wesleyan is not alone in having students who use drugs and drug use is certainly not new. I am from the class of 1975, so I know about Wes 40+ years ago. Colleges such as Wesleyan have always been against police investigation of drug activity on their campuses. The drug using student basks in the privilege this affords them. Of course, not all people have the privilege of having a Wesleyan protect them. Ask some of the locals.

      • genderequality

        You’re absolutely right that campuses like Wesleyan have provided a certain sort of privilege to their students – the privilege to experiment with vices like drugs without them ruining your life due to legal enforcement. Today this is done with a policy of “pretend it doesn’t exist, look the other way and hope it doesn’t blow up in our faces.” As was shown over the weekend, the blow up is inevitable.

        My opinion that harm-reduction/legalization approaches towards drugs are the way to go certainly doesn’t stop on campuses like Wesleyan – it’s just that these campuses may be one of the few areas which could actually implement sensible drug policy in today’s political landscape in America.

        The war on drugs is steeped in privilege from every angle; minorities, low-socio-economic groups, and people of color by far bear the brunt of the harms associated with drug use in America, and a huge portion of those harms stem from its illegality. The violent crime associated with the illegal drug trade, the unbalanced criminal enforcement and incarceration rates, the transmission of preventable disease – all aspects of drug use that imprison certain groups of people while hardly affecting others.

        A sensible drug policy would be one where people on campuses like Wesleyan are not the only ones protected from these avoidable harms. Look at how Portugal has transformed since implementing their progressive policy in 2001 – that’s what America needs.

    • Prof. Nutt

      Drugs are bad, m’kay.

  • jonesy

    haha fuck yall elite hippie bitches

  • US News & World Report

    #safetyschoolswestoppedranking

  • momzhood

    After reading these comments, here’s another college my kid will likely remove from his list. Thanks for the info.

    • omjen

      if you are so ignorant to assume this doesn’t go on at every college, your kid probably is too, and wouldn’t get in, so no worries. This is a societal issue–it isn’t a Wesleyan issue or a frat issue–young people everywhere do this.

      • Concerned parent

        Thanks, I agree partially – it is indeed a societal issue – though some locations are worse than others, so I am not sure if the original comment can fairly be called ignorant. Just curious – isn’t the “Eclectic” place a frat? I thought the school was getting rid of frats so that students would then be safe. Getting rid of frats should easily address the problem – that seems to be where most of the trouble takes place and where the vast majority of problem students live. They should turn these buildings into safe coeducated housing.

      • Concerned parent

        Thanks, I agree partially – it is indeed a societal issue – though some locations are worse than others, so I am not sure if the original comment can fairly be called ignorant. Just curious – isn’t the “Eclectic” place a frat? I thought the school was getting rid of frats so that students would then be safe. Getting rid of frats should easily address the problem – that seems to be where most of the trouble takes place and where the vast majority of problem students live. They should turn these buildings into safe coeducated housing.

      • Angry Alumni

        It’s been a “safe coeducated housing society” since 1970 with a rather unique focus that has come to a serious tipping point after this weekend. This is why Roth has to go. If he didn’t know about Eclectic, what else does he not know about the safety of Wes students after 8 years??

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclectic_Society_(fraternity)

      • Responsible drug user/student

        That’s a silly thing to say and believe. College students will drink and do drugs regardless of whether or not there are fraternities – off campus housing, off-campus “fraternities”, clubs, and sports quickly take their place when fraternities are banned. In my experience, schools without frats actually have crazier parties because the students throwing them don’t have to worry about university sanctions. (Also, generally speaking, not being a member of a fraternity at my university hasn’t stopped me from occasionally partaking).

      • Concerned parent

        Ok, thanks, sorry, I did not realize that this housing (frat?) was co-ed. I thought it was a real frat on school-owned property. So, now I am more confused – why would the school be trying to get rid of frats (“houses?”) that are co-ed? Or are they actually providing housing property for them to use (very poorly, it would appear)? Maybe I am slow, but it seems upon further thought that they should be getting rid of the parties, not penalizing social groups. Or at least monitoring/managing student social activity? But maybe that is not the school’s responsibility? Or maybe students don’t want that (though they may need it)? Help me John Wesley, somewhere we have gone astray . . .

      • 123

        Eclectic functions in a similar way to a fraternity but it’s co-educational housing and it’s considered a “society” as opposed to a “fraternity.” Eclectic has its own pledging process and method of selecting its members, or at least it did when I was at Wes. Ironically, the people who lived in Eclectic seemed to be cool, laid-back, artsy types. However, their parties always provided an excuse for students to get totally wasted on drugs and alcohol that night and their parties seemed to attract that element of the student population. Keep in mind, students would get trashed/ingest whatever they felt they needed beforehand and then head to the Eclectic party.
        Wesleyan is gradually disbanding the Frats in response to sexual assaults that have occurred at the frat houses. I’ve read that Wes issued an order last year that all Frats with on campus housing must become coeducational within three years. If your concern is with drug/alcohol consumption, then Wes’ efforts to disband the Frats does not really address your concern.
        This kind of publicity is unfortunate because Wesleyan is a wonderful school with very strong academics and many (probably most) students there stick to booze and/or weed. If you are concerned with weed, then you could pretty much cross every school off the list.

      • momzhood

        I have another son at a university and, no, it’s not as prevalent there as I have heard discussed at Wesleyan in several forums/reports. I have explored Wesleyan and I’m reasonably convinced that this is pretty ingrained in student life. At other colleges – not to this extent. So, not ignorant, omjen. Just not willing to settle.

  • the Duke

    there are great test kits these days. There pretty cheap and very effective. “test before you injest” surprised the smart kids from WES dont have them.

  • checkyourfacts

    In almost no alleged MDMA overdose ever reported was MDMA the actual culprit. Street “Molly” is not MDMA; in fact, in most samples tested, MDMA purity is between 0 and 7%.

  • Anonymous

    As a high school teacher (and non-Wesleyan grad) who has, over several decades, seen more than 20 of our students go on to attend Wesleyan, I am amazed by the voices in this conversation (whether students or alumni) who want to lay singular culpability at Roth’s feet. Wesleyan has had a reputation for at least 30 years as home of the most deeply rooted drug culture of any undergraduate community in Connecticut. It’s not accidental that very few of our strongest students have chosen to accept (or in most cases even pursue) admission to Wesleyan. They have not been prissy; plenty of them had their own histories of occasional or moderate drug use, and they have recognized the strength of the faculty in Middletown. But they didn’t want to spend four years in a culture in which drug use plays such a large role in student social life. So for any of you who think Wesleyan has a problem, it’s time to stop the Captain Renault routine of shock or sudden shame that gambling is going on. If you want to locate the problem, look around.

    • Anonymous

      Drugs do not play a “large role in student social life” at Wesleyan any more than they do at any other school. One of my kids graduated from Wes in 2002. This is a school filled with bright kids, many of whom enter already passionate about their direction in life. My son enrolled to study with Anthony Braxton, an experience he would not have had anywhere else. Some of his best friends from Wes have already won Tony Awards, have been nominated for Academy Awards, have plays on Broadway, directed major movies, etc. It’s not the school for everyone, but the self-directed student can thrive in this creative environment, surrounded by other people who are equally driven. The high school student who is attracted to the environment at Cornell would probably not choose Wesleyan, but I don’t believe it’s because of the drug culture.

      • 123

        Thank you. People who graduated with me from Wesleyan include: news correspondent for major news organization, attorney, librarian, teacher, doctor, record label owner, stay-at-home parent, author, investment banker, and numerous PhDs. Wesleyan is able to claim the major label recording group MGMT, recording artist Santigold, and director/screenwriter/composer Joss Whedon as well. Mr. Whedon wrote and directed that little film called “The Avengers” among many, many other things.

    • Urban Myths

      Since the 1970’s every student who applied to the Little 3 knew that you went to Williams for the academics, you went to Amherst if you couldn’t get into Williams, and you went to Wesleyan if you were a little more artsy and you were into drugs. All three schools had plenty of liquor, pot, coke, mushrooms, LSD and other drugs available for anyone who wanted to partake, yet Wesleyan always had the other two schools beat by a mile when it came to drugs.

      Don’t blame the adminstration, blame the culture that has existed on the campus for at least 40 years that encourages too many people to think that taking any drug is a good idea or is safe. It’s College, not a pharmacy, and students need to be educated about the dangers of drugs and drug addictions that too many adults know about all too well.

      • parent of prospective student

        But 42% of Williams students play varsity sports and so do 39% of Amherst students. My daughter isn’t interested in sports in the least and she’d prefer to be among students who do other things with their lives, though I think she’d feel more comfortable on a sports campus than a drug campus. I’m still trying to figure out what is happening to that threaten Title IX complaint against Wesleyan. Also in favor of Amherst and Williams is that they have three times the endowment of Wesleyan and 50% fewer students. What I’d really like to find is a campus that doesn’t have much of a drug problem and that doesn’t have an over emphasis on sports.

      • Anonymous

        Any college you look at, other than perhaps BYU, will have some sort of drug problem. I will be attending Wesleyan next fall as a freshman, and while I am aware of the drug usage on campus, it was not a deterant from applying.
        Wesleyan is a very strong school with excellent academics, a strong community, and am amazing arts culture. There are so many great things about the school, and from what I understand, if you want no part in drugs (like me), then it is pretty easy to avoid them.

        Drugs should never be a deciding factor for a college, especially when the majority of colleges have some sort of drug use present on campus.

      • Urban Myths

        Quite honestly none of these schools is very sports centric, and sports are more of a social and exercise activity than anything else. Williams has a long tradition of mixing athletics with academics, but never at the expense of academics. The majority of students do not play team sports, and the football/rugby/soccer/ultimate frisbee team types are small in number and tend to stick to themselves. Williams has the largest endowment per student and the oldest Alumni association in the nation, and it also has one of the best alumni networks that treats Alumni like family fo their entire lives.

        Any of these schools would be an excellent choice, and the key part of whether kids use or abuse drugs (and alcohol abuse is a much bigger issue at every school) is in the parenting. Just make sure your daughter does not give into peer pressure and shares her thoughts about drugs and alcohol and she will be ok. As for schools like Bennington, Swarthmore and Vassar that’s another story…

      • parent of prospective student

        But 42% of Williams students play varsity sports and so do 39% of Amherst students. My daughter isn’t interested in sports in the least and she’d prefer to be among students who do other things with their lives, though I think she’d feel more comfortable on a sports campus than a drug campus. I’m still trying to figure out what is happening to that threaten Title IX complaint against Wesleyan. Also in favor of Amherst and Williams is that they have three times the endowment of Wesleyan and 50% fewer students. What I’d really like to find is a campus that doesn’t have much of a drug problem and that doesn’t have an over emphasis on sports.

    • Another PO’d Alum

      “Lay singular culpability at Roth’s feet” ? Nope, not what I’m saying. Not singular. Roth has however contributed by continuing the indefensible and hypocritical policy of asserting domain, privilege, and control over some students and issues while willfully ignoring others. Were you not paying attention when there were MDMA problems back in September? Neither apparently was Roth. And yet here we are once again. You can’t convince me that anyone other than Roth is (supposedly) in charge, and that half a dorm full of his students just checked into hospitals with severe drug poisoning. So, should he be responsible? If you say “yes” then he clearly f@cked up. If you say “no” then why do you tolerate his administration getting into people’s personal issues (where they eat, where they live, who they associate with, the PC politics that are approved for student consumption, etc). Something needs to give. Seems to me the school and its students need to do a better job of deciding if they want or need daddy. And then living with the decision. At the moment we simply have a pathetic embarrassing mess and a $hitty parent. I would like to see the trustees take some decisive action. Close the dorm(s) where this garbage took place. Get rid of Roth. Fix our school – ’cause it ain’t working right now.

    • weskid15

      Oh please. “… culture in which drug use plays such a large role in student social life.” Drugs are prevalent on this campus, but you make it sound as if you’re required to consume them to have a life here. If you haven’t been an undergrad here, I don’t think you can speak accurately to what the “culture of our student social life” is. As a senior at Wesleyan, the only illicit drug I ever tried was pot (once — didn’t like it) and have never met any social repercussions from not partaking. Your students who dismissed Wesleyan out-of-hand for its drug culture were clearly uninformed of the nature of the community — as are you — to their loss.

      • Kara Flannery

        Agreed! I attended Wesleyan in the 80s and while I had many friends who experimented with drugs, I chose not too. One of the things I loved most about Wesleyan was that it was a place where freedom of choice was respected — I can honestly say in four years I never experienced “peer pressure” when I refused a drink, joint or hit and I danced my ass off at my fair share of Eclectic parties.

  • Carol

    14 years ago my son was given a pill by his girlfriend to make him happy! it was mdma laced with liquid acid, yeah let me tell you, we are still struggling today!! 5 months hospitalized and years and years of trying to make it right!! MY GOD THINK BEFORE YOU TAKE THIS STUFF IT IS NO GOOD EVER!

  • realitychecque

    This is a terrible situation, and I’m not a drug user (any more) nor do I advocate their use or abstinence, but the reality is that many times that number are hospitalized at Wesleyan each month for alcohol overdoses.

  • Anonymous

    Sure signs of Molly, licking hammers and swinging on wreckng balls

  • Bill

    By now, I would have expected to hear news of other people having to be hospitalized. Even if it happened out-of-state, it would help trace the origin of this “bad batch” of drugs.

  • L

    Marie JP (class of 75) said: “”I am a member of the Class of 1975. Drugs have long been used on elite campuses such as Wesleyan with very little local police action.”

    Ah, yes, the elite campus gets a pass. Check your privilege? Not on this topic. We are elite. Police and college officials, get thee to the community college to enforce your pitiful laws.

  • L

    This drug stimulates an unusual release of neurotransmitters in the brain. The flood of neurotransmitters is the cause of the sensations of euphoria and (apparent) modified consciousness that makes the drug attractive to some. But despite so called studies on the danger or lack thereof of the drug, there is no understanding of what usage can do to neurotransmitter function in the long term, or even in long term manifestations of short term usage. Nobody knows, least of all the fools in these comments pretending to be experts. What is known is that other psychoactive drugs (LSD for example) can cause permanent and detrimental effects on brain function, cognition and emotional balance. Take the drug if you must, people, but don’t pretend that it’s benign. You have no idea.

  • RileyinCT

    How are students paying for these drugs? Are students at this college from super wealthy families?

    • k.d. lang’s mangina

      Yes. Wesleyan’s tuition is over $60k a year–one of the top 10 most expensive colleges in the country. Most of these kids come from the wealthiest 5% of families in the country, the ones that ship their kids off to boarding school at Exeter, Andover, St. Paul’s, Choate, etc.

  • sadsituation

    interesting that one of the students arrested appears to be studying pharmacology and another worked at the FDA one summer (based on LinkedIn profiles)

    • Surprise Exam

      “studying pharmacology” . . .

      Hmmm, was this a pass/fail class ?

      Who let these scumbags into the school anyway? Can we take a closer look at the admissions process please?

  • Alum

    In my opinion, the campus administration is doing something important and correct if students are seeking help when they need it rather than dying in dorm rooms or on bathroom floors. I’d be very concerned that policy changes in a punitive direction would push dangerous situations underground. I think the students and University deserve support and respect. I have been pleased with the campus emails from MR that I have seen. As an alum I would be thrilled if my children were lucky enough to attend Wesleyan.

    • Parent

      I agree, I think that a very difficult situation has been handled well. It looks like Roth will hold off on the mandatory drug tests, dorm closings, and expulsions recommended by some here. In favor of “freedom” that is a feature of Wesleyan. The University and the students do have my support and respect. Focusing now on getting all 11 kids back to Wes, safe, intact, healthy and ready to continue growing up in a free and intellectually stimulating environment where you don’t have to live in fear of making mistakes.

      • Alum

        Yes!! All of this!

      • Free to pee

        “In favor of ‘freedom’ that is a feature of Wesleyan.” – yeah, me too !!!

        ” . . . growing up in a free and intellectually stimulating environment where you don’t have to live in fear of making mistakes” – yeah, me too !!!

        Allowing fraternities or other social groups who express a different opinion than the moral majority – no f#ckin’ way I want that! Ever. Has anyone seen my bong? How much does this campus food cost anyway?

        Sigh. I am going back to saying more prayers for the sick kids, will someone please nudge me when the drug testing starts so that I can miss the cup and splash Mr. Roth?

    • I want my kids on drugs

      I would like to agree with you, really, but I just can’t when I read the following – is this where you want your kids to go? If so, I give you credit for being brave perhaps, but it might also be characterized as stupidity. As a parent I must respectfully object to your opinion based on these statistics, and look somewhere with better administration and students.

      From http://www.courant.com/communi

      Federal records show that among 300 public or private four-year schools with on-campus housing and enrollment of 3,000 to 5,000, Wesleyan had the second-highest number of students “referred for disciplinary action” for drug abuse violations in 2012 and 2013.

      The school ranked fourth in 2011 and 2010, and overall had the third-highest number from 2010 to 2013, the U.S. Department of Education records indicate.

      In 2013, one out of 13 Wesleyan students was disciplined for a drug violation; in 2012 and 2013, Wesleyan reported disciplinary referrals for 521 drug violations, and four arrests, the records show

      • Statistics

        Does that mean Wesleyan has more drug users than other schools? Or does it mean Wesleyan is more proactive than other schools about referring students for disciplinary action?

        A school with 100% of students doing drugs but 0% of administrators taking action would come out looking really good in this ranking.

      • Guest

        521 drug violations and 4 arrests? Sorry, I agree with first poster that these stats are troubling.

      • parent

        I have been mulling on your comment Brave or Stupid? Which one is alum? which one am I? I think neither and both. My son went to a high school where they’re was a lot of good stuff and bad stuff happening, including drugs. He managed to navigate through the mire and he chose his own path, making his own choices, rejecting some and accepting others. He isn’t perfect but he has ambition, fortitude and a strong sense of self. He chose Wesleyan for all the great qualities he saw in the University, it was a measured choice not a casual one. He values the University, the Wes community and his place in it. So yes, perhaps brave, because I trust him and his ability to make good choices. Perhaps stupid too, for choosing to see past the events of the last week and having some faith in the University, and him, going forward.Even if I had zero faith in the University I believe temptation is a fact of life and always has been, but there are 3000 young people at Wesleyan, all different. They make their own choices and I am pretty sure that the majority of them will have the backbone to make good ones. I wish the best of luck to you and your child with the choices you have ahead.

  • Concerned Student

    Please read this. So much misinformation in these comments.
    http://www.drcarlhart.com/5-tips-for-decreasing-drug-related-harms/

  • Parent of prospective student

    How come this newspaper hasn’t provided an update on the four arrested students, three of whom are due to appear in court today? All four have been named, have been suspended, have made bail and have court dates. Are the student journalists going to attend and write about the court session? Also, why not interview the dean of students or the college president as to why these four have been suspended and not expelled. If my child were in a hospital in critical condition, I wouldn’t want a drug dealer returning to campus. Might they get expelled upon conviction or upon a finding from a disciplinary committee. Speaking of disciplinary committee, is one set to meet on this matter? When?

    • FirstAmendment

      you notice how they are refusing to name the adults arrested? What a sad excuse for a newspaper.

  • Wise King

    In loco parentis is dead and The Campus is unsafe. Wesleyan needs to enforce drug laws and expel and fully prosecute the dealers, The parents should certainly sue the school and those who hosted the event. This is your man: http://www.bode.com/Attorneys/DouglasEFierberg.html

  • Elixabeth

    My son took something he thought was LSD and was carried out of our house in the middle of the night on a stretcher. We thought we lose him and have been years recovering as a family from the horror of this. We finally got back a report that said it bore some resemblance to Molly. The point is,you do no know what it is, let alone how you will be effected vs. others. Don’t risk it. Don’t.

    • Wesalum

      Actually there are drug tests kits that will tell you exactly what something is.

      • k.d. lang’s mangina

        Will these tests also inform the tester that the drug is illegal and criminalized, and warn the user that he/she would likely serve jail time if caught with a significant amount of the drug? If so, can you modify the test so that it takes into account your socio-economic status, social caste, education, and general lot in life, so that it may more accurately determine whether or not it needs to tell you the drug is illegal?

        Oh, I forgot, this is a non-issue. Remember, the people buying and selling illegal drugs on the Wesleyan campus are better than the plebs doing it on the street corners, and therefore they shouldn’t face the consequences.

  • FirstAmendment

    why aren’t you naming the students? It is a matter of public record.

    ABC national news reports: “The Middletown Police Department in Connecticut announced that Eric Lonergan, 21, Andrew Olson, 20, Zachary Kramer, 21, and Rama Agha Al Kakib, 20, were arrested on various drug charges on Tuesday, and four search and seizure warrants were executed around campus in an effort to obtain unspecified evidence. The four face various drug possession charges, and Olson is charged with sale of hallucinogen.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wesleyan-students-arrested-drug-charges-due-court/story?id=29214509

  • Yet another angry graduate

    I’ve seen several comments below questioning the leadership/fault of Mr. Roth. No, he obviously did not do this. And yes, hindsight is 20/20 and he seems now to be making a wholehearted effort to address the situation and assist the investigation. However, as a graduate of our school I have to ask two basic questions at this point, and in the midst of an utterly pathetic and embarrassing fiasco that is absolutely ruinous to our community (not to mention college rankings) while we are all busy praying for the injured students:
    1) Did the school actually do anything in the last few years to update its dormitory policies to address this issue?
    2) Was Mr. Roth aware of this problem, or was he just sticking his head deep into in the butts of the school’s public safety officers?

    From http://www.courant.com/community/middletown/hc-wesleyan-mdma-overdoses-20150224-story.html

    Federal records show that among 300 public or private four-year schools with on-campus housing and enrollment of 3,000 to 5,000, Wesleyan had the second-highest number of students “referred for disciplinary action” for drug abuse violations in 2012 and 2013.

    The school ranked fourth in 2011 and 2010, and overall had the third-highest number from 2010 to 2013, the U.S. Department of Education records indicate.

    In 2013, one out of 13 Wesleyan students was disciplined for a drug violation; in 2012 and 2013, Wesleyan reported disciplinary referrals for 521 drug violations, and four arrests, the records show

    Bottom line – our institution should not be showing up as a leader in this type of data. Who is responsible for leadership? If you say “the students” then might you please let me know how the admissions process and dormitory management process is working out right now . . . ?

    • We’re (not?) # 1 ?! :(

      Wait, couldn’t you argue that these high numbers actually reflect a heightened effort to address the situation?

      Hmmm, let’s see . . . 521 referrals and 4 arrests. That sounds as if less than 1% of the drug use was “illegal” . . .

      Yes, actually, upon reflection you are correct, that does sound like a big disconnect. It seems the only way Roth failed (succeeded?) was not quite reaching #1

      Dear trustees – what do you think about taking the top spot – is that manageable for you, shall we add it to Mr. Roth’s employment contract as a bonus provision?

      DO SOMETHING.

  • Urban Myths

    After reading many of the highly questionable “MDMA/Molly is safe” comments below, I had to wonder exactly who are all these people who propagandize other students about the safety of illegal drugs? It turns one of the four Wesleyan students who were just arrested is the founder of a campus group that wants to decriminalize drugs, especially drugs used by students. Something tells me this group won’t be on the Wesleyan campus much longer.

    NBC: Founder of Student Drug Reform Group Arrested in Wesleyan Molly OD Case

    The founder of the Wesleyan University chapter of a student drug reform group is one of four students arrested in connection with MDMA, or Molly, overdoses that sent 11 classmates to the hospital over the weekend.

    Andrew Olson, 20, of Atascadero, California, is the founder and co-president of the Wesleyan chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

    Students for Sensible Drug Policy declined to comment on the criminal investigation, but said Olson founded the local chapter in 2013.

    A statement on the organization’s Web site says it “mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while fighting back against counterproductive Drug War policies, particularly those that directly harm students and youth.”

    So it’s the drug war policies harm that students and youth, not the bad Molly and bath salts and PCP laced concoctions that these drug dealers pass off as safe? Is this what they are teaching students at Wesleyan these days?

    http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Founder-of-Student-Drug-Reform-Group-Arrested-in-Wesleyan-Molly-OD-Case-294087231.html

    • Wesalum

      Something tells me you know nothing about Wesleyan and don’t understand the difference between wanting a sensible drug policy and endorsing drugs.

      • Urban Myths

        Somethng tells me that you know a lot more than i do about the drug culture at Wesleyan, where 1 out of 13 students was disciplined for a drug violation last year. 1 out of 13 students, do the math. One Wesleyan alum I know recently passed away from a lung condition he developed after many years of smoking drugs. So I know a lot more about Wesleyan than you think.

        Anyone who says any drug is safe, including nicotine and alcohol, but especally these synthetic drugs coming in from China or made by Chem major in his dorm room, is a moron, a drug dealer, or both. This isn’t an episode of Breaking Bad, it’s real life, act responsibly.

        Te irony is we have millions of parents refusing to give thier kids measles and other vaccinations because they wrongly think their kids will get autism. Then these unvaccinated kids grow up, go off to college and take any drug offered to them by total strangers with no idea what kind of poison they are taking.

        Now a dozen kids end up in the hospital with drug overdoses or poisoning, despite having been warned last fall of the dangers of Molly after a similar incident on campus. Either life is too boring or these kids are too obstinate to understand that any chemical can kill you or damage your brain for life.

      • Wesalum

        Drug policy reform is a criminal justice issue. It has nothing to do with a “drug culture.” And referring to someone “smoking drugs” is like saying someone “eats food.” There are different drugs with completely different effects.

  • Wesalum

    Wes should be taking the lead by providing students with drug tests kits instead of cracking down on the student experimentation that is intrinsically connected to the greatness of the school.

    • k.d. lang’s mangina

      Should Wesleyan also provide zip ties, plastic sheeting, and shovels to those students who wish to dabble in a bit in murder? I mean, it’s just a little experimentation among the best, brightest, and most highly valued members of our society. No big deal. People at elite private liberal arts schools are intrinsically better than other people, and shouldn’t have to play by the silly rules of constitutional or criminal law.

      • Wesalum

        It’s called harm reduction, genius. Providing safe resources for people to test their drugs is by no means analogous to aiding and abetting murder but you wouldn’t understand that since you clearly couldn’t get into a top school like Wesleyan.

      • k.d. lang’s mangina

        This might surprise you, but I’m actually a Wes alum, too.

        I just like bombast. Of course you can’t compare drugs to murder. I was simply drawing a hyperbolic comparison between murder and drug trafficking. If Wesleyan taught me anything, it was that one must always bring out the big guns to make one’s point.

        If the school provides test kits like this to students, they are volitionally contributing to the problem of criminalized drug trafficking and use on campus.

      • Wesalum

        Harm reduction is not contributing to anything illegal and someone scoring drugs for their friends is hardly a trafficker. As a Wes alum, you should know that drug laws disproportionally affect those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

      • k.d. lang’s mangina

        As a Wes alum, I am aware that drug laws–such as the harsher penalties for crack cocaine (inner-city drug) possession compared to cocaine (white collar drug) possession–do sometimes levy harsher penalties on people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

        But also, as a Wes alum, I am well aware of the exclusionary and elitist mentality many of the students carry. Lots of people I met at Wes believed they were outside of the law–their scrapes with the law were not and should not be analogous to those of people who were not students at an elite, expensive liberal arts school. I always found this elitism fascinating–for a student body so concerned with egalite and social justice, they were so quick to exclude themselves in situations like this. “Well, yeah, I was using and selling ecstasy, but I’m a college student at Wes! We have a history with drug experimentation! Zonker Harris Day! We shouldn’t be treated like the guys down on Broad Street!”

        Also, trafficking or dealing drugs is defined as exchanging illegal drugs for money or other services. So yes, what I was describing is drug trafficking–whether the Molly dealer at Eclectic or the LSD peddler in Westco or the coke slinger in Beta believes it or not.

      • Wesalum

        I’ve never heard anyone express that sentiment as a student or an alum. From your queer and trans baiting name, you clearly have an axe to grind. The drug war is bad for everyone especially the poor. If Wesleyan can be an oasis from that, it sets an example for the rest of the country as Wes students become world leaders.

      • k.d. lang’s mangina

        My axe is more of a hatchet. Tempered steel. Handle wrapped with tanned and treated leather to afford a firmer purchase. Blade sharpened to perfection. I use it for splitting seasoned fir and beech. I like to have campfires. Kumbaya.

        Also, the only baiting I do is bear-baiting. My pastimes be all Elizabethan English.

        Wesleyan is an oasis for the disenchanted–those totally out of touch with reality. Beyond the sugarcoated fairy tale that lies between Broad Street and Foss Hill, a very different world with very different ideals predominates.

      • DavidL

        Good point, but do you think the students even notice this?

      • k.d. lang’s mangina

        No, they are blind to it, too busy being the imagined gift-givers of equality and justice for every underrepresented and potentially imaginary cause in the world–people and causes that they can’t relate to and don’t know in the least bit. And when the other shoe drops, how quick they are to manipulate their situations and bail themselves out with the very type of privilege they rail against.

      • Not Barlow

        Thanks, I agree it is a sensible point (with an extreme illustration). The school should not be doing anything to make it easier for people to break the law, period. If there is a concern about safety then the response is raising awareness about NOT experimenting, rather than experimenting safely. We’re not having the chemistry department make LSD to pay the Grateful Dead anymore, that was 1970. We’re in 2015 where anything can kill you. And let’s be honest, there has been a lot of collateral damage in the interim.

        For those arguing that this approach drives kids underground, keep in mind that there is no underground anymore. Any type of information or support you could need is right there on the web. You believe everything you read, right ?

      • Wesalum

        Harm reduction doesn’t make it easier to break the law, it make it harder to die.

  • Terry

    I agree with those who say Molly is safe in the right dosages. You need to check the labels and don’t try to do 16 Cndls, Brkfst C and PnP in the same sitting, you will overdose.

  • L

    “The names of the students arrested have been released by the Middletown Police Department, but The Argus is refraining from publishing them as of now.”

    Why, pray tell? Four adults, charged with a serious crime, whose names have been released by the police. Just what is the basis for the Argus declining to supply their names? As far as I can tell, it’s “privilege.” Wesleyan students rail about all kinds of nefarious privilege, but are quick to claim a privilege (here to be free from adverse publicity) when their own interests are involved. This requires an explanation.

  • Alumni

    Any updates on the condition of the students?

  • olderAlum

    I hope the administration considers some sort of drug education program as a potential future mitigant. Maybe a student group could run a mandatory information session for new frosh to teach them more about these types of drugs, what to look for in potential overdose situations, how to test the substances etc… Of course we all acknowledge that these substances are available across most college campuses, so a program of teaching awareness could go a long way in avoiding future incidents like this. I have a foggy memory that Wes canceled the annual “Smoke-on” (at MoCon) in the late 1980s because of a similar drug incident involving local police… lets take care our ourselves, but lets at lease give incoming frosh and the students the knowledge to better understand the risks of experimenting with various substances…

  • Guest

    Grow a backbone, Argus. The New York Times has reported the names. Al-Nakib is a Syrian citizen…

  • DKE Bro

    Grow a backbone, Argus. The New York Times has reported the names.

  • DavidL

    “This article will be updated as the story develops.”

    Except for the stuff we decide to avoid publishing.

  • Billi Jo Hart

    http://dancesafe.org/the-real-tragedy-of-the-wesleyan-overdose-incident/

    When will people understand that drugs will always permeate our culture whether we outlaw them or not? It’s about time we started giving out real, honest information to reduce the risk of them and help people make better and more informed decisions before ingesting these drugs. ALWAYS test your drugs before taking them, understand that different drugs can have harmful and potentially fatal reactions with each other, and recognize that taking a drug will always pose a risk, no matter how careful you are.‪#‎dancesafe‬ ‪#‎molly‬ ‪#‎mdma‬

  • Pingback: Why Wesleyan’s Student Newspaper Isn’t Naming the Molly Overdose Suspects (At Least Not Yet) : College Media Matters()

  • Pingback: At Least 12 People Hospitalized After Molly Overdose()

  • Pingback: 2015: A Very Wesleying Year In Review | Wesleying()

Twitter