TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Capitol News Service) - One week after the death of a Florida State University fraternity pledge and just four days after FSU President John Thrasher banned all Greek activity as a result, FSU police found at fraternity members at the fountain in front of the administration building at 3 a.m.
The video isn’t dramatic, but the message was a collective middle finger to the university and the Greek ban.
“I was mad. I was mad,” FSU President John Thrasher said.
Following the death of 20-year-old Andrew Coffey at a Pi Kappa Phi party, after which nine fraternity leaders were charged with felony hazing, Thrasher vowed to create a new normal.
"Frankly, if this happens again, I’m going to be very, very concerned, and I hope their national organizations are also,” Thrasher said.
But nearly three months later, it is proving difficult.
Q: “Isn’t it kind of a sign that the effort isn’t working?”
A: “It’s not. It’s not. That’s why I said something about the national organizations. They need to get involved in this. If they don’t I’m worried, Mike, that we are going to lose fraternities, and I don’t want that to happen,” Thrasher told reporter Mike Vasilinda.
Alpha Epsilon Pi was also recently dismissed from FSU. It was found responsible for an extended six-week hazing of pledges that continued until at least the day after Coffey died. State Attorney Jack Campbell is investigating.
“Once we get the results of it, we’ll take a look at it and decide if that constitutes a violation of Florida law," Campbell said.
The chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was disbanded by its national organization. The house is now empty.
The property is controlled by a company owned by alumni. It will likely be rented to another Greek organization if Greek life weathers this storm.
While threatening to pull the plug on Greek life if there is another incident, FSU’s President did say he expects to lift the current interim ban in the near future.