FSU made the right move in suspending all Greek life

Eduardo Alvarez/ Contributing Writer

The tragic death of a Florida State University student last week has compelled President John Thrasher to suspend all Greek member events, council and chapter meetings, tailgates and other social events.

The incident, which occurred after an off-campus party, has turned the Tallahassee school into the third this year to neutralize dozens of fraternities and sororities — as well as ban the sale and consumption of alcohol — for an indefinite period of time.

“I want to send a serious message, I really do,” said Thrasher. “We’ve got a serious problem.”

Thrasher’s move has now sparked a debate among different universities as to whether his decision was necessary or excessive.

Too many preventable catastrophes have transpired. The time has come to moderate our habits and remember that, although we are young, often stressed and in need of occasional blowouts, there is always a limit.

The fact that another FSU student was accused of selling cocaine parallel to the incident is poignant and revelatory. Our parties have gone from fun to overkill, and the debauchery has begun to yield its rotten fruits.

We must not mistake our priorities. Universities must be, first and foremost, safe places. The movie “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” expressed it best when one character asked, “You know there’s no legal right to party, right?”

Administrators, however, do have a right to ban such privileges if they have reason to think that certain harmful trends could threaten the life, health and reputations of students.

This is not an indictment of Greek life in its entirety, as they have been a pillar of the American university for countless years and are known to be sources of lifelong friendships and nostalgia.

That being said, 40 students have died from alcohol poisoning in the past year alone, according to The Economist, and the hazings, rituals, sacraments, liturgies and rites of passage have become ever more extreme and convoluted.

We shouldn’t be surprised, nor indignant that an emergency brake has been activated, especially in a place like FSU with over 55 fraternities and sororities. Think of who may have been spared by the party poopers.

At the moment, there’s no indication that FIU will tighten or eliminate the activities of Greek societies.

Although our school has experienced lamentable incidents in the past — recent and far off — Greek life still stands amidst this controversial chapter.

As for FIU, remember that any activity that violates the code of student conduct can be reported in the Greek incident report section of the FIU Student Affairs website.

In times like these, we must be willing to think clearly and put aside our immediate desires. If what it takes a period of renovation within our student organizations or a revisioning of what constitutes the acceptable and the unacceptable, then let it come. It is worth it.

Unfortunately, we live in a world in which tragedies will always be inevitable, even when things are done perfectly. In this case, however, all of our data points to an explicit, quantifiable problem whose roots are found, to put it plainly, in student indiscipline. Thrasher saw this, and decided to do something about it.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Featured Image by Michelle Marchante.

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