Florida State Halts Fraternity Activities After Student's Death

Florida State Halts Fraternity Activities After Student's Death

Florida State Halts Fraternity Activities After Student's Death

Florida State's suspension of all fraternities and sororities after a pledge's death dampens Greek life on campus just as it prepares for homecoming week.

On Friday, 20 year-old Andrew Coffey, a pledge at the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity was found unresponsive after being at an off-campus party the night before. He died on the scene, police said.

University President John Thrasher said Monday the duration of the suspension had not yet been determined.

The university said it's sticking with its decision.

"I just feel like for whatever reason, the message is not getting through", Thrasher said.

"And that's why I'm enacting several changes, effective immediately". The university did not reply to requests for comment Monday.

Thrasher said fraternity and sorority members will continue to to live in their houses during the suspension. They can attend leadership classes, judicial and conduct hearings, and risk management education workshops offered by the university. Hazing is a criminal offense in Florida.

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"This pause is needed to review and reflect on the loss of a young life and to implement serious changes", Thrasher said. "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", she said. Additionally, alcohol is banned at all student organization events. Thrasher said Monday there are over 700 of these organizations.

Penn State suspended fraternities and sororities from holding social activities during the spring semester following the hazing death of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza in February.

The President said he was hopeful the investigation would be complete by this week's end or early next week.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports the fraternity, where Coffey was a pledge, has faced sanctions in the past.

The North-American Interfraternity Conference said in a statement that it was ready to help FSU seek a way forward "that enhances safety and accountability, while respecting the rights of students who model fraternal excellence".

"I've communicated with those kinds of groups and let them know that I have zero tolerance for those kinds of activities and that we will bring the hammer down on them if they act inappropriately in those areas", Thrasher told the paper.

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