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FSU’s Hazing Crackdown Holding Bad Actors Accountable

November 21st, 2019 by Jake Stofan

Greek Organizations at Florida State University are having trouble accepting what the university is calling the ‘new normal’ when it comes to hazing.

Multiple chapters have been closed in wake of the 2017 death of Pi Kappa Phi pledge Andrew Coffey.

After Coffey’s death FSU vowed to crack down on hazing.

“And that’s why I’m enacting several changes effective immediately,” said FSU President John Thrasher in November of 2017.

Some of the changes FSU adopted to combat hazing include shortening the pledge period to six weeks, limiting the number of social events with alcohol and requiring new members complete a social orientation prior to recruitment to teach them about the university’s expectations.

But is it working?

Since the start of 2018 five fraternities have been closed and one Sorority has been suspended for hazing.

Three other organizations are now facing discipline for other conduct violations.

FSU President John Thrasher said it’s a sign the new system is catching bad actors.

“Many of the things that are going on have to be incremental. We have to continue to talk about them every single year, almost every single month, to reeducate the leadership of our fraternities about how we feel about those values,” said Thrasher.

But Brendon Johnson, a fraternity member we spoke with said aside from the university’s crack down, many greek organizations took Coffey’s death as a wake up call.

“We just lost someone. We need to figure out what’s going on, why this happened and that’s what our fraternity has done,” said Johnson.

Another student we spoke with, Caven Hamilton, agreed that Greek Life has learned some hard lessons.

“You know you have public outcry and then you’re going to have changes,” said Hamilton.

Coffey’s death also resulted in a new law that provides immunity to those who report hazing.

The university told us it isn’t certain whether Andrew’s Law has been invoked in any of the recent hazing cases.

But the University said reporting overall has increased as a result of greater hazing awareness on campus.

And while there are growing pains, the university is sending a tough message to bad actors… get with the picture or face the consequences.

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