A Letter to the Greek Community

Dear Greek Community,

The indefinite interim suspension announced by President Thrasher on Monday, November 6, 2017 for our university community is still in place.

The university community is engaged in efforts to better understand and enhance the Greek experience. The response from our Florida State students, staff, faculty, advisors, and alumni has been overwhelmingly supportive. The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life (OFSL) held numerous constituent meetings over the past ten days with the following groups:

  • Chapter Presidents and Council officers together
  • NPHC Chapter Presidents and Council Officers
  • IFC Chapter Presidents and Council Officers
  • MGC Chapter Presidents and Council Officers
  • Panhellenic Chapter Presidents and Council Officers
  • Chapter Advisors and other Alumni Governing Councils and National representatives
  • Four FSL student forums
  • Three FSU student forums
  • Tallahassee Alumnae Panhellenic
  • Four Council Conversations

With your continued engagement as a member of our community, we will shift our Florida State culture in a positive direction. To accomplish that, it will be critical for chapters and councils to meet as we move forward. As such, these exceptions are effective November 16, 2017 during the indefinite interim suspension period:

  • Each council may host council meetings with the council advisor(s) present.
  • Each council may conduct council executive board elections with the council advisor(s) present.
  • Chapters may conduct chapter meetings the duration of the fall semester with a chapter advisor or university staff present. Chapter meetings may occur through the last day of classes, Friday, December 8, 2017.
  • Chapters may hold officer elections with approval from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. The chapter advisor or university staff must be present during all meetings and elections.
  • To ensure continued chapter leadership, prior to chapter elections, each organization electing/appointing/slating new officers should submit a detailed transition plan to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Requests for the officer transition plan templates are available through OFSL.

Please adhere to the suspension outlines sent to you on November 6, 2017.

If you have any additional questions or are prepared to share your meeting requests, please contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at ofsl@fsu.edu.

More information on Activities & General Questions regarding the Indefinite Interim Suspension

Florida State University President John Thrasher announced today he is imposing an indefinite interim suspension on all fraternities and sororities at FSU effective immediately.

To learn more regarding activities during the indefinite interim suspension, visit: union.fsu.edu/ofsl/fraternity-sorority-life-indefinite-interim-suspension/.

For general questions regarding the indefinite interim suspension, visit: union.fsu.edu/ofsl/indefinite-interim-suspension-general-questions/.

FSU Announces Indefinite Suspension of Greek Activities

Nov. 6, 2017

CONTACT: Dennis Schnittker, University Communications
850-644-4030; dschnitt@fsu.edu

FSU ANNOUNCES INDEFINITE SUSPENSION OF GREEK ACTIVITIES

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State University President John Thrasher announced today he is imposing an indefinite interim suspension on all fraternities and sororities at FSU effective immediately.

The action follows the death three days ago of Andrew Coffey, a pledge at Pi Kappa Phi, who was found unresponsive after attending a party, and the arrest today in an unrelated case of Garrett John Marcy, 20, who was charged with the sale and trafficking of cocaine. Marcy is a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

FSU has received national recognition for its innovative programs designed to curb high-risk behaviors. These model programs are emulated by other universities and aggressively encourage students to report incidents they think might be hazing. The university has dozens of programs that work with Greek organizations to educate them on the values they are expected to reflect, providing tools and resources to assist student leaders and advisors in effectively managing their organizations.

Thrasher has been an active participant in establishing expectations for FSU’s student organizations and holding them accountable. He has routinely held meetings with student leaders to discuss campus culture and clearly communicate the university’s expectations for student organizations.

But the president said this pause is needed to review and reflect on the loss of a young life.

“For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek Life at the university,” he said. “There must be a new culture, and our students must be full participants in creating it.”

Thrasher also instituted a ban on alcohol at all Recognized Student Organization events during the indefinite interim suspension. FSU has more than 700 such organizations outside of the Greek community.

In the coming weeks, the Division of Student Affairs will create and implement new measures in collaboration with students and other stakeholder groups, said Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Hecht. “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.
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.

During the interim suspension, fraternity and sorority chapters will be prohibited from holding new member events, council or chapter meetings, chapter organized tailgates, chapter events such as socials, philanthropy, retreats, intramurals, organized participation in Market Wednesday and organized participation in Homecoming.

They will be allowed to remain as residents in their fraternity or sorority house and will have meal service. They can attend leadership classes, judicial and conduct hearings, and risk management education workshops offered by the university.

Failure to comply with the terms of the interim suspension could result in immediate disciplinary action.

“Like most universities, we worry about alcohol and drug abuse and other dangerous behaviors, and we are doing all we can to educate our students,” Thrasher said. “But all of our student organizations — Greek organizations and the other recognized student organizations on campus — must step up. They will have to participate in the solution.”

Learn about Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life

The mission of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is to enhance the quality of student life at Florida State University by empowering members of the Greek community through advising with a developmental approach, educating with purpose, communicating with stakeholders and cultivating collective partnerships.

To learn more about Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, download the "Highlights" document.