Auburn, AUM react to Florida State Greek Life ban

Updated: Nov. 6, 2017 at 8:42 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Some Alabama universities are reacting to Florida State University's decision to ban on all fraternities and sororities on its campus.

Florida State University President John Thrasher announced the indefinite suspension Monday. During a press conference, he said in order for this suspension to end there will need to be a new normal for Greek Life at the university.

The move to halt Greek Life at FSU comes just days after the death of Andrew Coffee, 20, who was a pledge at Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Coffee was found unresponsive at an off-campus party Friday.

FSU's administration's action has caught the attention of university officials in Alabama.

"It is always tragic when you hear about someone who has died in their college years, and especially when it has been a result of fraternity or sorority activities. I am glad the university is taking steps to address issues," said Jill Martin, Director of Greek Life at Auburn University.

There are more than 50 Greek organizations on Auburn University's campus. While it has been more than 20 years since they have had a hazing-related death, they are always monitoring their groups closely.

"We are constantly evaluating our community and what is going on in our community. Some things that might trigger us doing some type of suspension would be if we started to see the same problems over and over community-wide," said Martin.

Auburn, like other universities, has taken proactive measures by implementing intensive education programs for existing and new members. The AU interfraternity council has the Auburn Man Program. Every new member spends his first six Mondays going to sessions tackling issues ranging from hazing to sexual assault prevention. Recently, new members of Panhellenic sororities went through suicide prevention and Green Dot violence prevention training.

"It helps the students to identify a high-risk situation when something bad may be about to happen. It teaches them practical ways to help delegate, direct and distract to prevent the bad thing from happening," said Martin.

Joel Hughes, Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Programs at Auburn University Montgomery offered us this statement: "We appreciate FSU's decision to pause and focus on the safety of their students. Guidance and training are the best tools we have in our kit, that's why we are taking this as an opportunity to reinforce the ongoing training we currently provide all our student clubs and organizations. At AUM we offer leadership training for all of our student organizations and work closely with each Greek Affiliate's national organization to emphasize training to combat hazing on all levels."

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