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Student death prompts Texas State University to suspend fraternities and sororities

Death of 20-year-old fraternity pledge is believed to be alcohol-related.

The death of a fraternity pledge from Texas State University in San Marcos has prompted the university to suspend the activities of all Greek fraternity and sorority chapters.

KXAN-TV reports that Matthew Ellis, 20, a sophomore from Humble, Texas, died at an off-campus location. Police say alcohol may have been a factor in Ellis’ death.

San Marcos police say Ellis’ friends called 911 Monday from an off-campus apartment to report that he wasn’t breathing. Emergency crews found Ellis unresponsive, and he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Ellis was a pledge for Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, but he did not live at the apartment complex — he lived on campus. In a letter to the staff and students, University President Denise Trauth says Ellis attended an off-campus social event Sunday evening hosted by members of the fraternity.

Following Ellis’ death, Trauth suspended activities of all fraternity and sorority chapters at the school. Effective immediately, the chapters are prohibited from holding new-member events, chapter meetings, social functions and philanthropic activities until further notice.

Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity suspended the local Texas State chapter last week for unrelated matters.

Trauth says the university will conduct a “thorough review of the Greek Affairs system” and propose recommendations for reinstating the chapters that “demonstrate a commitment to the core values” of the university.

At the beginning of this year, four Texas State University fraternities were suspended after student, Jordin Taylor, 20, was found dead after a party at Cool River Ranch in Guadalupe County on Oct. 29, 2016. Taylor was dragged more than 500 feet after being hit by a bus.

Kappa Alpha was suspended for two years, Alpha Tau Omega for three years, Kappa Alpha Order for four years and Delta Tau Delta for five years.

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