11 Rice University Students Hospitalized Following 'Night Of Decadence' Mega-Party

Eleven Rice University students were hospitalized this weekend with symptoms of alcohol poisoning during an event called "Night Of Decadence," a school tradition, KHOU reports.

Held since 1972 at Rice's Weiss College, NOD is a themed, university-approved party once named one of the Top 10 College Parties in America, by Playboy magazine.

The party is meant to celebrate a release from the stress of midterms. The Houston Press reports that a punch made for the first Night of Decadence event sripped the varnish from the bathtub that held it. As NOD themes grew more overtly sexual over the years -- starting with "The Fall Of Rome" in 1976 and developing to "NODtendo 69: Blow My Cartridge" in 2012 -- Rice was criticized for allowing the party to go on.

The Rice Thresher, the university's student newspaper, said a student planning committee agreed to tone it down. According to the Thresher, contemporary NOD parties are self-policed by scores of volunteers.

Concerning the 11 hospitalized students, Rice Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson told KHOU:

That is a large number. It is larger than it has been historically by a large amount actually, so we are concerned about that. We re-evaluate constantly. We are in constant dialogue with our student leaders to find the most effective ways to keep our students safe, to keep our students healthy. (And) to make sure that they have the proper information to make appropriate choices.

KHOU reports that the students were released from the hospital Sunday morning.