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USA responds to hazing deaths

The+USA+chapter+of+Pi+Kappa+Phi+was+unavailable+for+comment+at+the+time+of+publication.
The USA chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

The USA chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Shelby Guidry

Shelby Guidry

The USA chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Rachel Sullivan, Reporter

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In the last two weeks, two college men have died from hazing-related activities at Florida State University and Texas State University, according to CNN. The presidents of both universities have indefinitely suspended the Greek life on campus.

Police found Matthew Ellis, a 20-year-old pledge for the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at TSU, dead on the morning of Nov. 14. TSU suspended all Greek chapters immediately. Ellis’ death is the third reported college hazing-related death since August of this year. Added to this is the  investigation of a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at FSU who is charged with trafficking cocaine.

Furthermore, the FSU chapter of Pi Kappa Phi is under investigation for causing the death of 20-year-old Andrew Coffey on Nov. 3 after a party the night before. The USA chapter of Pi Kappa Phi did not respond to requests for comments regarding the incident.

Cathi Jones, assistant director of fraternity and sorority life, was unavailable for comment at the time of publication. The president of the Intrafraternity Council was also unavailable for comment. President Tony Waldrop did not comment on the cases and referred comments to Dr. Michael Mitchell. However, the involved national chapters of the fraternities from FSU and Texas State extended their apologies and plans of action to CNN news.

“Our hearts go out to the Florida State community in this tragic loss,” Mitchell said. “It is always difficult to lose a student, but it is especially difficult when that loss is totally preventable. Hazing education and awareness is a continuous effort on all campuses with Greek communities and we must all remain vigilant in our efforts to change the culture.”

“I don’t think they (USA) are taking it seriously,” Summer Smith said, a junior elementary education major at USA. “I think that there should be a different tradition for this. Why nearly kill yourself for this kind of thing? They try to tell people that it’s nothing like what is in the movies, then this happens and the fraternities at other schools continue on.”

What this means for the Greek life at USA remains to be seen. After a lack of response from Greek representatives and the fraternity involved, one can only wonder where this university truly stands on this tragic issue and what “efforts to change the culture” are being done.

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The student news site of The University of South Alabama
USA responds to hazing deaths