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Fraternities Face Suspension in Light of New, Strict Anti-Hazing Policies at FSU

Florida State University's campus faces hazing allegations

This fall has been a busy one for the administrators at FSU who are determined to stop hazing related activity on campus. In light of Florida’s new anti-hazing statute known as “Andrew's Law” and the wave of anti-hazing sentiment it inspired across the country, FSU is more determined than ever to end the culture of hazing in Greek life.

The three recently suspended fraternities at FSU include:

  • Kappa Sigma - suspended Oct. 14 for hazing allegations
  • Phi Kappa Tau - suspended Oct. 1 for hazing allegations
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon - suspended Sep. 27 for alcohol violation allegations

The suspensions, officially called an "interim restricted status suspension," means none of these fraternities may operate as fraternities and must "cease all chapter operations and activities."

Phi Kappa Tau Shutdown by National Office

Following the allegations, the FSU chapter of Phi Kappa Tau was shuttered this past Monday by the fraternity’s national headquarters. The fraternity was under a strict agreement to stop its unacceptable behavior after it admitted to violations of alcohol and hazing policies in the spring semester but failed to stop the bad behavior..

“The staff and alumni advisors in collaboration with the undergraduate leadership and university worked to develop an action plan to address several concerns that needed attention,” said Tim Hudson, CEO of Phi Kappa Tau. “It is very disappointing to learn the undergraduate members did not follow through on their end."

Hudson promised to continue working with FSU and plans on returning to campus in the future, which typically occurs after four years of inactivity. The fraternity may still be charged with violations of the FSU Student Organization Conduct Code.

'Dry' Party Features Cocaine

In light of the death of Andrew Coffey in November 2017, FSU President John Thrasher instituted new, stricter guidelines for Greek life that supplemented the new provisions of “Andrew’s Law.” These new university rules are what have led to the recent suspensions.

In addition to these recent incidents, FSU has now released campus police reports regarding the details of Phi Kappa Tau’s spring behavior and the findings are shocking.

On one weekend in February, there were two events involving the abuse of alcohol and other substances. On February 9, EMTs and police responded to a call about a drunk woman who was found on the sidewalk outside the Phi Kappa Tau house. The woman vomited violently after telling police she'd "only had four drinks." The next day, FSU officials did an inspection of what was supposed to be a dry party with no alcohol at all and ended up finding a drunk partygoer relieving herself in the bushes. The sober woman with her stated that there was alcohol being served inside the house, and that the bathrooms were unavailable because attendees were using them for cocaine; cocaine was allegedly the theme of the party.

Despite FSU’s best efforts, incidents like this continue but will not be tolerated. When necessary, the university, the local police, and our office will do what we can to stop ongoing fraternity misbehavior, and we will continue to represent victims of the illegal and misguided conduct.

We are encouraged that FSU continues fighting for the safety of their students and the integrity of their Greek institutions.