Student: FSU's ban on Greek life unfairly penalizes minority Greek organizations

A student in one fraternity says it's unfair to punish all of Greek life after 20-year-old Andrew Coffey was found dead at a frat party.

Students at Florida State University of speaking out after FSU decided to ban all Greek life indefinitely on Monday following a student's death.

The suspension bans all council and chapter meetings, tailgates, new member events and other social events.

Student Diego Garcia is a member of Sigma Lambda Beta, which is the largest historically Latino-based fraternity in the U.S. He said the decision unfairly penalizes minority Greek organizations.
        
"No organizations may participate in Market Wednesday, including stepping, strolling, and performing," he said. "Stepping and strolling are two things that are exclusive to the Multi-cultural Greek council and the National Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council don't participate in that. So, they are not being penalized by that at all."

The decision comes after 20-year-old Andrew Coffey of Pompano Beach was found unresponsive at a home, in Tallahassee, following a party.
         
Police said alcohol may have been a factor, but are waiting for the results of an autopsy.

Coffey was pledging to become a member of Pi Kappa Phi, a historically white fraternity.   

Garcia said the groups are different and rarely intermingle on campus.

"Our organizations help uplift people of color," Garcia said. "It helps uplift the community. It gives a safe space for us to be ourselves. When we are away from home it gives us a safe place at a predominately white school. To take that away from us for something we had nothing to do with is unfair."

Another student at Florida Atlantic University, who claims to be president of a historically white sorority wrote a response online, calling FSU's decision "bold" saying: 

"While I do believe it may seem harsh, I also believe it takes a bold decision to send a message. If not now, then when? If not a student's death, then what?"

Reports show FSU is the third university to suspend Greek life in 2017 because of alcohol-related tragedies. The other institutions are Penn State and Louisiana State.

We got an email from Pi Kappa Phi. It said the Beta Eta Chapter at FSU has been suspended.

The fraternity has had a slew of misconduct incidents in chapters all over the country, according to articles sourced on Wikipedia. The incidents included hazing, alcohol abuse and racial discrimination. Some incidents ended in the death of pledges.

Pi Kappa Phi's national website said the fraternity opposes alcohol abuse by members, hazing, sexual misconduct and other deviant actions.

The fraternity said and all members of FSU's chapter are directed to cooperate with the investigation.

Garcia said he hopes the ban is lifted and the punishment focused on those directly involved in this tragic incident.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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