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Thrasher announces new Greek life policy changes

Thrasher announces new Greek life policy changes
Thrasher announces new Greek life policy changes
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 13:40:45-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Florida State University has lifted portions of its suspension on Greek Life on campus, effective immediately.

The decision comes nearly three months after fraternity pledge Andrew Coffey died of alcohol poisoning at an off-campus party.

These are significant changes for Greek life, as president John Thrasher calls for a "new normal" on campus.

The university has been working with national and local stakeholders, including students and alumni, to come up with a number of new policies and procedures.

Starting Monday, Greek organizations can start recruiting again. The suspension on philanthropy has been lifted, too.

There are also big changes for new members, existing members and keeping the chapters accountable with their behavior and their grades.

There's now a minimum average GPA requirement for organizations, mandatory service hours and more staffing. All chapters must now keep an average 2.5 grade point average and all members must complete at least 10 community service hours a semester.

When the alcohol and social event bans are lifted, police or approved security must be at every function at Greek house where alcohol is served.

FSU's police chief says it's always been on students to be responsible but now, it's even more critical.

"It's a very serious situation. We lost a student. He passed away," said Chief David Perry. "It's our hope that the students will use this opportunity to really honor his legacy by taking some self-examination, taking time to evaluate their mission and why they're a part of a Greek organization and then hold each member accountable for their behavior."

President Thrasher says FSU will also be keeping a close eye on how successful students will be in making these changes.

"This program, these things that we're creating here, I think, will make a difference," said Thrasher. "I feel very optimistic in the fact that these student leaders have engaged in this process and given us their input as an indication, I think, the students have now begun to realize this is a culture that needs to change."

The ban on alcohol is still in effect not just for Greek life, but for all 700 recognized student organizations on campus. The vice president of student affairs says there's no exact timeline when the rest of the ban will be lifted but Monday is a step in the right direction.

We tried speaking with Greek life members after the announcement, but they declined our request for comment.