Florida State University has announced a ban on all fraternities and sororities after the death of a 20-year old student attending a house party Thursday night. 20-year-old Pi Kappa Phi fraternity pledge Andrew Coffey was found unresponsive Friday morning and died on scene. The Tallahassee Police Department is investigating his death.
The organizations are now forbidden from holding formal activities including participating in homecoming, pledging or hosting official meetings. Current members will still be allowed to live in their homes. Florida State University President John Thrasher says the move is meant to send a message to Greek organizations.
“We’ve got a serious problem and we’ve got to deal with it. And they’re part of the solution. And the sooner they can come to the table and we can all talk and find those solutions, the sooner this will be lifted,” he said. Thrasher also banned alcohol at all student organization functions.
“Investigators have interviewed more than 50 people and many additional interviews are planned,” TPD Chief Michael DeLeo said Monday in a video posted to the department’s facebook page. “Although there are indicators that alcohol may have been a factor in this case, we are waiting for the results of an autopsy, so no cause of death has been determined.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family and friends,” Pi Kappa Phi Chief Executive Officer Mark Timmes said in an official statement. “We appreciate the partnership and support from the Division of Student Affairs during this difficult time.”
In a separate and unrelated case, fraternity member Garret Marcy of Phi Delta Theta, was charged with selling drugs. FSU’s Thrasher says the ban on Greek life will stay until there is a new culture in place for the organizations. During the past five years several FSU fraternities have been the targets of investigations into hazing, sexual assault and bad behavior.
“I just feel like for whatever reason the message isn’t getting through. And I want to take a pause and let’s reflect on what we need to do about the culture of Florida State University,” Thrasher stated.