'Haze,' Being Shown Saturday, Explores Dark Side of Student Life

November 2, 2011 — Most of the time, college students who join campus organizations find new friends and opportunities for leadership and service.

Some student organizations, though, can present a dark side, as depicted in "Haze," a feature documentary about alcohol abuse and hazing on campus. The film will be shown as part of the Virginia Film Festival on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. in Nau Hall Auditorium (room 101) at the University of Virginia.

The film tells the story of Gordie Bailey, a University of Colorado freshman who was found dead in 2004 of an alcohol overdose at his fraternity house following initiation ceremonies and alcohol-related hazing. He had been a college student for less than a month.

"Haze" weaves together interviews with Bailey's friends, family and pledge brothers with campus parties, emergency medical calls and police response. One of the film's key messages is that Gordie Bailey's death was entirely preventable.

A panel discussion will follow the film with Pete Schuermann, the director of "Haze"; Michael and Leslie Lanahan, Gordie Bailey's parents; Allen Groves, U.Va. dean of students; Tolly Merrick, a teacher from the Peabody School in Charlottesville; Brendan Martin, a U.Va. fraternity member; and Andrea Kaplan, a U.Va. sorority member. Susan Bruce, director of the Gordie Center for Alcohol and Substance  Education at U.Va., will moderate.

Bailey's story carries a special significance for U.Va. Several of his close friends were U.Va. students. After establishing a foundation in his memory, his parents learned of U.Va.'s work in the area of alcohol education and substance abuse prevention and decided to transfer ownership of the Gordie Foundation to the University. Following their gift in 2010, U.Va.'s Center for Alcohol and Substance Education – or CASE – became the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

For information, contact Susan Bruce at seb7q@virginia.edu or 434-924-5276.

Ticket information

The general public can reserve tickets through the Virginia Film Festival site. Beginning one hour prior to the screening, any remaining tickets can be purchased at the door for $7, cash or check only.

Student tickets are free but must be reserved no later than 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 4. Go to the film festival website and click on the "free U.Va. student ticket" box at the top. Students with reserved tickets must bring their student IDs to pick up tickets at the Arts Box Office in the lobby of Culbreth Theatre between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and between 7:15 and 8:15 p.m. Friday and between 10 a.m. and 6:15 Saturday.  To be admitted to the screening, bring your ticket and student ID. Free tickets will not be available at the door.

Media Contact

Virginia E. Carter

Office of Student Affairs