FSU Suspends Greek Life After Death Of Pledge: 'We've Got A Serious Problem'

“For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek life at the university."

Florida State University has suspended all Greek life indefinitely. According to The Washington Post, fraternities and sororities at FSU have been halted effective immediately. The decision, announced by the school's president on Monday, comes on the heels of the death of a pledge as well as separate criminal charges of a fraternity member.

“For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek life at the university,” Florida State University President John Thrasher said in a press release. “There must be a new culture, and our students must be full participants in creating it.”

Andrew Coffey, a pledge at Pi Kappa Phi, was found unresponsive in a Tallahassee home after attending a party on Friday. He was given medical treatment, but died on the scene. In an unrelated case, Garrett John Marcy, 20, was charged with the sale and trafficking of cocaine. He is a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Authorities are still investigating Coffey's death.

“Although there are indicators that alcohol may have been a factor in this case, we are waiting for the results of an autopsy, so no cause of death has been determined,” the chief said. The police “will continue to work with the state attorney’s office as new information becomes available to determine what charges, if any, are appropriate.”

 

In addition to the Greek ban, Thrasher issued a ban on alcohol at all recognized student organization events during the suspension. FSU has more than 700 such organizations outside of the Greek community. 

“To ensure the future of fraternity and sorority life, innovative practices will need to redefine our Greek community so that it positively contributes to the full well-being of students,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Hecht.
During this interim time, fraternity and sorority chapters will be prohibited from holding new member events, council or chapter meetings, chapter organized tailgates and chapter events like socials, philanthropy, retreats, intramurals and organized participation in Homecoming. They will be allowed to remain as residents in their respective fraternity or sorority house and will have meal service. They can continue to attend leadership classes, judicial and conduct hearings and risk management education workshops offered by FSU.

The university shares that failure to comply with the terms of the interim suspension could result in immediate disciplinary action.

"I want to send a serious message, I really do," said Thrasher. "We've got a serious problem."

[Photo: FSU Facebook]

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