FSU Greek life suspension

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The death of a Pi Kappa Phi pledge led to the suspension of all Greek activities.

The death of a Pi Kappa Phi pledge led to the suspension of all Greek activities.

The death of a Pi Kappa Phi pledge led to the suspension of all Greek activities.

Isabel Platis, News Editor

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Following a tragedy that occurred on Friday, November 3rd, Florida State University president John Thrasher suspended all sororities and fraternities indefinitely until a “new normal for Greek Life” can go into place.

Andrew Coffey, 20, a Pi Kappa Phi pledge, died at an off-campus party November 3. Although alcohol was a probable factor in his death, they are still waiting for the autopsy results to confirm the exact cause of this tragedy. Another unrelated incident involving the sale of cocaine by a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity the same week as Coffey’s death is part of the reason for the suspension of Greek Life. “For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek life at the university,” Thrasher said at a news conference. “There must be a new culture, and our students must be full participants in creating it.” There’s no telling how long this suspension will last, but Thrasher says that it relies fully on the participation of the community in making these necessary changes. For now, all new member events, council or chapter meetings, chapter-organized tailgates, chapter events such as socials, philanthropy and intramural events, retreats, organized participation in Market Wednesday and organized participation in next week’s homecoming festivities have been cancelled for all Sororities and Fraternities. Along with the Greek Life suspension, Thrasher took the extra step of banning all alcohol from student organized events during this time. FSU is now the third university to suspend Greek Life after an alcohol related death along with Penn State and LSU.

Although many people believe this suspension is a good thing for Greek Life, others oppose the idea. Sororities and fraternities are constantly planning events, socials and retreats which you have to pay to attend if you are a member. Now, those members can’t attend any of these events and in many situations, they can’t get their money back. Suspending the fraternity involved in the death of Coffey and the selling of cocaine is reasonable, but to ban all fraternities and sororities raises lots of controversy among students, parents and the community. Close to 7,600 students at FSU are members of the 54 social chapters; to change the mindset and culture of all those students is going to be a challenge.

 

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