FSU suspends fraternities, sororities in wake of pledge’s death

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By Sarah Larimer | The Washington Post

TALLAHASSEE — All fraternities and sororities at Florida State University have been suspended indefinitely, the school’s president announced Monday.

The suspension was effective immediately, according to a news release on the school’s website.

“For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek life at the university,” Florida State University President John Thrasher said in the release. “There must be a new culture, and our students must be full participants in creating it.”

The release notes that the decision came just days the death of Andrew Coffey, a Pi Kappa Phi pledge. The Tallahassee Democrat has reported that Coffey died Friday after an off-campus party.

The news release from the school in Tallahassee, Florida, also cited the arrest of Garrett John Marcy, a 20-year-old member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Marcy has been charged with the sale and trafficking of cocaine, according to the release. He was arrested Monday, and his case is unrelated to Coffey’s death.

It is unclear how long the suspension of Greek life will last. The release notes:

“The timetable for lifting the suspension is up to the student community, Thrasher said.

“‘They must work with us and demonstrate they fully understand the serious obligation they have to exercise responsible conduct,’ he said.”

In a video statement posted to Facebook, Tallahassee police chief Michael DeLeo said investigators had interviewed several people following Coffey’s death, and additional interviews were planned.

“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,” the chief said. The police “will continue to work with the state attorney’s office as new information becomes available to determine what charges, if any, are appropriate.”

Coffey’s death comes not long after the death of Maxwell Gruver, a Louisiana State University freshman. The 18-year-old died in September after a gathering at a school fraternity. And in February, a Penn State University fraternity pledge, Timothy Piazza, died after a party for students who had accepted bids to join the chapter.

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