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Florida State University Indefinitely Suspends All Greek Activities

Fraternities and sororities have been suspended at FSU after an apparent alcohol-related death of a pledge and, separately, the arrest of a frat member on cocaine charges.
Parents help move their students out at the end of the semester on the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee in 2015.
Parents help move their students out at the end of the semester on the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee in 2015.Mark Wallheiser / AP file

Florida State University announced on Monday that it will indefinitely suspend all fraternities and sororities following the apparent alcohol-related death of a freshman pledge and, separately, the arrest of a member of a different fraternity on cocaine charges.

In a news release posted to the University's website, the university said the suspension was needed to "review and reflect on the loss of a young life."

The death and drug bust, which are not related, took place just days from one another.

Andrew Coffey, a civil engineering major from Pompano Beach who was pledging Pi Kappa Phi, died Friday after he was found unresponsive following a party.

Tallahassee Police said that there were indications that alcohol played a factor in Coffey's death, but that they were awaiting official autopsy results to determine the cause of death, NBC Miami reported.

Then on Monday, Garrett John Marcy, 20, a member of Phi Delta Theta, was charged with selling cocaine.

“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,” said Florida State University President John Thrasher. “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.”

Related: Universities Take Aim at Underground Fraternities to Combat Hazing

Thrasher didn't say how long the suspensions of the 28 fraternities and 26 sororities will last.

The school's president has also banned alcohol at all events of recognized student organizations during the suspension, of which there are more than 700.

Fraternities and sororities will also be banned from holding new member events, council or chapter meetings, chapter organized tailgates, chapter events such as socials, philanthropy, retreats, intramurals and other school activities, according to the statement.

Fraternity and sorority members will, however, be allowed to remain in their respective houses, the school announced.

Related: Do Penn State's Reforms After Hazing Death Go Far Enough?

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

Florida State University did not have additional comment on the suspension, and FSU's Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life did not immediately respond to a request for comment.