Florida State University announces reforms for Greek community after student death

Posted at 1:24 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 18:35:06-05

Florida State University President John Thrasher announced significant policy changes for the school's Greek Life on Monday.

On Nov. 6, all Greek Life on campus was suspended after the death of fraternity pledge Andrew Coffey.

Monday, Thrasher said part of the suspension will be lifted to allow for philanthropy and recruitment by Greek organizations. However a ban on alcohol will remain in effect. 


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He said social events will be added later in the semester if students are successful at implementing the necessary changes.

“I’ve said all along that in order for there to be real change on campus, students must be part of the solution. Our students are now beginning to fully understand the serious obligation they have to behave responsibly,” Thrasher said. “They have demonstrated this during the past three months and have pledged to continue to do so.”

The university’s changes are extensive and address three broad areas:
Expectations and Values
• New requirement for a chapter grade-point average of 2.5.
• A minimum average of 10 documented hours of service per semester per member.
• Requires students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority complete a special orientation program prior to recruitment so potential members understand expectations.
• All IFC fraternities will conduct a comprehensive membership review of all members in collaboration with their national organization and advisers to ensure all members can commit to the fraternity’s values, policies and expectations.  
• Launch of a new “Scorecard” available to the public on the university’s website communicating information about each chapter to increase transparency. 
• A significant modification of the student conduct process to add faculty and staff to student review panels that hear Greek conduct cases.
• The implementation of new membership dues to help support the hiring of staff who work directly with the Greek system and the addition of new educational programs.
• Requirement that all chapters have an Advisory Board with special training.
Risk Reduction

• A shortened new member period of six weeks for IFC fraternities.
• Socials with alcohol limited to four during fall semester and six during spring semester.
• Events with alcohol at houses allowed only if the chapter uses third-party vendors, provides food and has police or security officers approved by the FSU Police Department present for the duration of the event.
• New rules for tailgating events held by Greek organizations.
• New requirements for members to be trained in hazing prevention and leadership development.

“Our students have acknowledged and demonstrated their understanding of our university values and expectations,” Thrasher said. “This marks the beginning of what we hope will be a real culture shift on campus – but certainly not the end.”

The complete plan cam be seen here.

In Tampa, USF staff said they could not compare their own policies with the ones being implemented at Florida State University.

Monica Miranda, the director of the Center for Student Involvement, said their policies meet the needs of their own community. Miranda said they are confident their policies will hopefully prevent something tragic from happening here.

"And that's why it's important. We are trying to ensure that it is about prevention and education and not a reactionary process," MIranda said.

At USF, for example, they make sure students follow their social event registration policies, which includes a consultant meeting before hosting an event. Miranda said their chapter presidents and the community are very involved.

"We're pretty proud of the community here and how actively engaged they are in making sure that they are the change agents for the community," Miranda said.

If students have questions or concerns about USF's Greek life, they can call or visit the Center for Student Involvement.