Florida State University has imposed an indefinite interim suspension on all fraternities and sororities at the institution effective immediately.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports that University President John Thrasher announced the suspension in the aftermath of the death three days ago of Andrew Coffey, a pledge at Pi Kappa Phi, and the arrest of a member of a different fraternity in connection with selling cocaine.
Coffey was found unresponsive after attending a party. Garrett John Marcy, 20, a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, was charged with the sale and trafficking of cocaine.
“For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek Life at the university,” says Thrasher. “There must be a new culture, and our students must be full participants in creating it.”
Florida State has received national recognition for its programs designed to curb high-risk behaviors. These programs have been emulated by other universities and aggressively encourage students to report incidents they think might be hazing. The university has dozens of programs that work with Greek organizations to educate them on the values they are expected to reflect, providing tools and resources to assist student leaders and advisors in effectively managing their organizations.
Thrasher has been active in establishing expectations for student organizations and holding them accountable. But the president said this pause is needed to review and reflect on the loss of a young life.
The university also has instituted a ban on alcohol at all Recognized Student Organization events during the indefinite suspension. Florida State has more than 700 such organizations tht are not part of the Greek community.
During the interim suspension, fraternity and sorority chapters will be prohibited from holding new member events, council or chapter meetings, chapter organized tailgates, chapter events such as socials, philanthropy, retreats, intramurals, organized participation in Market Wednesday and organized participation in Homecoming.
They will be allowed to remain as residents in their fraternity or sorority houses and will have meal service. They can attend leadership classes, judicial and conduct hearings, and risk management education workshops offered by the university.
“Like most universities, we worry about alcohol and drug abuse and other dangerous behaviors, and we are doing all we can to educate our students,” Thrasher said. “But all of our student organizations — Greek organizations and the other recognized student organizations on campus — must step up. They will have to participate in the solution.”