Greek life suspension right move
The suspension of activities for all fraternity and sorority chapters at Texas State University following the recent death of a student at a fraternity party was an extreme but warranted measure given the circumstances.
Earlier this month, Matthew McKinley Ellis, 20, a sophomore business major from Humble, was the second student to die in 13 months at an off-campus fraternity gathering.
Law enforcement officials told the Austin American Statesman they will wait for an autopsy report and toxicology tests before making a final determination on a criminal case.
The investigation could take up to six weeks.
Ellis was pledging Texas State’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, which had been ordered a week prior by its national organization to cease social activities. This was due to an ongoing investigation by the university into the organization.
That investigation was launched in early October based on a complaint received on Sept. 21. University officials are not disclosing the nature of that investigation.
Last fall, the body of Texas State student Jordin Taylor, 20, a respiratory care freshman, was found outside a venue where a fraternity party had been held the night before.
She had been dragged at least 500 feet by a bus. Her body was not discovered for 12 hours.
Four Texas State fraternities were suspended following that tragedy.
Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth took the appropriate action following the latest incident by suspending the activities of all 31 fraternity and sorority chapters while the university conducts an investigation of the Greek system on campus.
Hazing and alcohol consumption at Greek parties are a continuing problem on college campuses across the country.
Earlier this month Florida State University suspended all Greek life activities on campuses following a student’s death.
A total of 17 Pennsylvania State University fraternity members are facing various charges including involuntary manslaughter in the February death of a student.
Only a small percentage of students in any campus are members of fraternities and sororities. At Texas State only about 6 percent of the almost 39,000 students are enrolled in a Greek organization. Regrettably, however, these types of student activities are not limited to just members of certain organizations.
Universities must maintain strong zero tolerance policies when it comes to hazing, alcohol abuse and sexual harassment involving all students.