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Harvard to investigate campus alcohol abuse
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BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Harvard University will convene a panel to investigate alcohol abuse on campus after a sharp increase in students seeking medical help for alcohol poisoning.

The panel will examine the schools approach to alcohol and look for ways to lessen peer pressure. It will issue a report by the end of the school year, said Dean of Undergraduate Education Benedict H. Gross.

The number of undergraduates admitted to university health services for alcohol poisoning has increased steadily over the last five years -- from 18 during the 1997-1998 school year to 123 in 2002-2003.

Gross attributed the six-fold increase to heightened awareness that students can seek help without being disciplined for drinking.

The panel will include faculty members, college administrators, medical professionals and students.

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