Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Assessing FSU's Timeout on Greek Life

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Assessing FSU's Timeout on Greek Life

Article excerpt

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

FSU President John Thrasher said there needs to be a "new normal to Greek life on campus." This follows similar suspensions at Penn State and Louisiana State, among others.

So we asked members of our Email Group, mostly with university backgrounds, to comment.


I think fraternities and sororities serve a purpose. Becoming a part of a "family" on campus can be very helpful. I think FSU has overreacted. The specific fraternity house involved should certainly be shuttered until they can sort out what happened, why it happened and how to prevent it from ever happening again. All hazing activities should be totally banned.

Patsy Riner, retired teacher, Jacksonville


As a 1963 graduate of Florida State University, I applaud the president for suspending the activities of fraternities and sororities. Parents should not have to send their children off to college and then have them come back in a casket.

The news is reporting about the young man who fell down the stairs in a fraternity, was unattended for 12 hours and eventually died. Those who do not show good judgment actually participate in the crime of at least involuntary manslaughter.

Frats probably like "Animal House" as yuk-yuk humor. But let's not kick it up to "Slaughter House."

William Howard Denson III, Jacksonville


Fraternities have strayed from their original intent. In earlier days of higher education, fraternities were formed among students for learning purposes, such as pooling books for study as many of the institutions were sadly lacking in library resources. I would not expect fraternities to return to that goal.

However, some type of merit system would be appropriate to determine a fraternity's or sorority's value to students and the college. Why not have these organizations quantify goals and missions as a starter and later check to determine their success? In addition, prospective members of these groups should be made aware of the dangers of alcohol poisoning.

Gary Roseman, St. Simons Island, Ga.


I would advise FSU President John Thrasher to suspend all fraternities and sororities for a limited time while a clear and decisive outline covering activities under the umbrella of the school's or the fraternity's or sorority's name would be legally established.

Ann Wiggins, Middleburg


The knee-jerk response to suspend all sorority and fraternity activity following the death of a student is merely insult to injury in an effort to appease patrons and parents. A sanction on the offending organization in question along with a mandate for the continued good behavior of all other organizations should suffice. …

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