Early Sunday morning, a Rutgers University sophomore was found passed out in a fraternity house in a suspected alcohol-related incident. Caitlyn Kovacs, 19, had been with her friends, who said she “appeared to be in distress,” and later died at 3:19 a.m. While there have been no charges filed and the cause of her death is still under investigation, local authorities believe it was alcohol-related, and the dangers of binge drinking cannot be ignored.

Police interviewed frat brothers at the 55-member Delta Kappa Epsilon house on Sunday in order to sift through details that may lead them closer to a clear cause in the midst of a pending autopsy. The fraternity gave their condolences through Facebook in addition to a statement by DKE International Executive Director Doug Laphner. "As the investigation of the incident is ongoing, Delta Kappa Epsilon is fully cooperating with local and county authorities," it read.

She was described by friends over and over again as a happy person with a good head on her shoulders and a lot of energy, always with a smile on her face. She was very involved in school and while this is not a eulogy to who she was, may it stand as a testament to the potential the sophomore animal sciences major could have reached and is now lost by this likely preventable death. College creates a unique social environment for college students, but with lack of parental supervision, easy-access to copious amounts of alcohol and parties down the road from dorms and apartments, it could be more of a catastrophic combination for young students.

“She was always there for me as a friend, no matter what,” Kovacs’ friend since middle school, Jeremy Rodriguez, told CBS. Rodriguez said he spoke with her on the phone just hours before she died. “I sensed some sort of intoxication, but it didn’t really occur to me. I always assume that people are going to be fine.”

Putting drug use aside, alcohol-related unintentional injuries leads to the death of 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 every single year, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol is a drug, and to look at it as a recreational rite of passage can be dangerous, as it is often abused. Approximately four out of five college students drink and about half of those who consume alcohol binge drink, regardless if they’re of age or not.

College has been valued more as a magical bridge connecting childhood high school days to the reality of an adult workforce, as opposed to an institution of higher learning. We do more growing outside in fraternity houses and football games with peers than inside library cubicles and classrooms with books and highlighters — at least that’s the majority. Large populations of teens and young adults learning how to live on their own also comes with the danger of finding the delicate balance in their drinking limits that go from fun to dangerous.

Nobody is saying it’s the university’s fault Kovacs died this weekend, but the buzz from roommates and new friends as the school year starts helps Rutgers's sports team celebrations and big Greek life lure young 18- and 19-year-olds into their big houses filled with booze.