By| Giselle Thomas
Towards the end of 2017, the death of an FSU student shook Tallahassee. Andrew Coffey, a 20-year-old Pi Kappa Phi pledge at Florida State University, lost his life due to alcohol poisoning.
The death happened in November and FSU President, John Thrasher, decided to put a ban on all Greek life at the university.
In January of 2018, President Thrasher announced a lift on portions of the ban on Greek life activity. Allowing fraternities and sororities to indulge in recruitment and philanthropic activities but continuing a ban on all social events
A partial lift of the ban was announced about three months after Coffey’s death. In comparison to the hazing incident on Florida A&M University’s campus in 2013.
Michelle Del-Castillo , an FSU student , said the lift was too early.
“I’m glad they did the ban, but it’s hard to quantify how much time it takes to learn your lesson, but if it were up to me it wouldn’t be lifted at this point,” Del-Castillo said.
In 2013, Robert Champion, a student at FAMU was killed in a hazing accident. He was part of the Marching 100, the band was out of service for a year until negotiations started happening to bring back the band.
Calvin Long, a past trombone section leader for the Marching 100, said the students and faculty were very restricted.
“Everything music related they could not do. It was to the point where nobody in the department had keys to their offices. FAMU Police Department had to come down and actually open and lock every single door. Whether it was just getting instruments,” Long said.
Fraternities, sororities and the band are three different groups when compared because they are unique organizations. A connection between the three is the fact that they are large social groups and attract attention.
In a press release, FSU officials presented new requirements stating:
-Applicants must meet a chapter grade-point average of 2.5.
-A minimum of 10 documented service hours per semester per member
-No alcohol at events unless the chapter uses a third-party vendor with a police present
-New member intake shortened to 6 weeks for IFC fraternities.
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Although FSU has a plan to move forward, Emma Rayas said the university could have been more genuine.
“They don’t really care, and they just did it for publicity because if they didn’t do anything they would have been looked down on for not doing anything about it. So, they just did it so the media would turn their face away from it and not pay attention because they did something,” Rayas said.
Between 2013-2017 two hazing-related deaths occurred at major universities in Florida’s Capital, Tallahassee.
Nationally, there are fraternities, sororities, and bands in most universities/colleges. It is up to the organization to make the effort to eradicate hazing and the culture.