SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – After two student deaths in two years, Texas State University says it’s time to rebrand Greek life on campus.
All Greek life chapters have been suspended since November after the death of Matthew Ellis, 20, who was pledging Phi Kappa Psi. According to media reports, Ellis’ autopsy showed he had a blood alcohol content of .38.
On Monday, the university released new guidelines to all fraternity and sorority chapters on campus.
“We want to make sure they are being the leaders that they can be,” said Texas State University Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joanne Smith. “I’m feeling good about this; I think we’re on the right track.”
Some of the new guidelines include strict training offered by the Greek Affairs Office. Before a chapter hosts any kind of social event, date function, or tailgate the university will now require at least 75 percent of each chapter’s members to attend a training session.
Beginning next school year, how many social events a chapter can host will depend on the chapter’s grade point average. If a chapter holds a 2.7 or higher grade point average, it will be allowed four registered social events a semester with or without alcohol – that is the most events allowed by the university.
The university also states all social events must be limited to a guest-to-member ratio of no more than 2:1 for events with alcohol. No social event with alcohol may exceed 400 attendees.
“If a chapter decides they don’t want to do all of the elements, we are prepared to say they are no longer apart of the Texas State Greek Affairs office,” said Smith.
Those who are part of the Greek life on campus say the new guidelines are strict but understand the need for change.
“As a Greek community we admit we have failed at times, but we aren’t going to let that dictate who we are. There’s no underlying issue when it comes to life and death, you have to put on procedures and I understand why the school is doing it,” said Texas State Greek life leader Cole Evans. “As leaders, we need to learn how to adapt as need be and maybe show in the future that we don’t need these training wheels.”