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Greek Life closed following death of pledge Matt Ellis

Texas State University President Denise Trauth released the following statement Monday:

As president of Texas State University, I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of one of our students who attended an off-campus social event on Sunday evening hosted by members of a university fraternity. Following a call from friends, officers with the San Marcos Police Department found Matthew Ellis, a Phi Kappa Psi pledge, unresponsive on Monday morning at an apartment off campus. He was pronounced dead after EMS personnel were unable to revive him.   My thoughts are with his family, friends, and the Texas State Community.

As a result of this tragedy, I have suspended activities of all Greek fraternity and sorority chapters at Texas State.  These chapters are prohibited from holding new-member events, chapter meetings, social functions, and philanthropic activities until a thorough review of the Greek Affairs system is completed.

I have asked Dr. Joanne Smith, Vice President for Student Affairs, who has responsibility for the Greek Affairs system, to immediately initiate this review and propose recommendations for reinstating fraternity and sorority chapters that demonstrate a commitment to the core values of Texas State and the ideals established by their respective national organizations.

It is imperative that our entire university community develop a  culture that places the highest priority on the safety of its students, faculty, and staff.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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