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Florida State University suspends all fraternities and sororities after pledge's death

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Florida State University indefinitely suspended its fraternities and sororities Monday after the alcohol-related death of a freshman pledge and cocaine charges for another fraternity member.

University President John Thrasher didn’t say how long the suspension will last.

“This pause is needed to review and reflect on the loss of a young life and to implement serious changes,” Thrasher said. “For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek life on campus. They must participate in that culture.”

Florida State is at least the third university this year to suspend Greek life because of alcohol-related tragedies. After the February hazing death of 19-year old Timothy Piazza, Penn State suspended fraternities and sororities from holding social activities during the spring semester. Louisiana State had a one-month suspension and continues to ban alcohol at Greek parties after the hazing death of 18-year old Maxwell Gruver in September.

At Florida State, Andrew Coffey, a pledge at Pi Kappa Phi, died Friday after he was found unresponsive following a party. Police said there were indicators that alcohol may have been a factor, but authorities were waiting for the results of an autopsy before determining a cause of death. Authorities are still investigating.

On Monday, 20-year-old Garrett John Marcy, a member of Phi Delta Theta, was charged with the sale and trafficking of cocaine.

“I just feel like for whatever reason, the message is not getting through,” Thrasher said. “Unfortunately we’ve got to take steps with our students, to make sure this never happens again.”

During the suspension, the only events Greek life members can conduct are meetings with the university or their national chapter. They also can not have any organized participation in homecoming activities, which are scheduled for next week.

Students will be allowed to remain as residents in their fraternity or sorority house. Thrasher also banned alcohol at all student organization events during the suspension.

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