Texas College Introduces New Fraternity Rules Following November Death Of Pledge

In November, we brought you the story of Texas State student Matt Ellis, a fraternity pledge who was found dead after an initiation ritual. Ellis was found dead on November 13 at an off-campus apartment.

Now, over three months after his death, Texas State has introduced new Greek Life rules in an effort to assure that something like this never happens again. Following a “thorough review of Greek life at Texas State University, university leaders have outlined new rules for the school’s fraternity chapters.

According to reports, a “Greek Affairs Advisory Task Force” made up of 24 members was created to participate in the review of Greek chapters at Texas State, being asked by the university to “determine best practices and actions that would develop a positive Greek culture” and to “present to the President recommendations and actions for chapters in good standing to be reinstated to the Texas State University Greek Affairs system.”

The Greek Affairs Advisory Task Force created eight steps that the school’s fraternities must follow.

via KXAN:

1. Introduction to Greek Life & Recruitment: Each Greek Council must develop a Potential New Member Orientation, while current members must attend recruitment training. The trainings must be completed by May 1, with more to follow in the 2018-2019 school year.

2. New Member Education: Each chapter needs to develop and submit a new member education plan outlining what happens after initiation

3. Risk Reduction Events, Monitoring and Training: Each chapter must create a risk reduction plan each year and agree to participate in training. At least 75 percent of each chapter’s members must attend the training before an event, and events have to be held within 100 miles of San Marcos. Additionally, the chapter’s grade point average for the previous semester will determine how many events they can hold and how many can involve alcohol.

4. Chapter/Graduate Adviser & Faculty/Staff Adviser Certification: All advisers must complete university certification training, which must be renewed every two years. Part of the training will include a section “on how to ‘re-educate’ alumni members about appropriate behavior and university expectations during their interactions with the undergraduate members of their respective Greek organization.

5. The Chapter Advancement & Awards Program: Each chapter must participate in this program by submitting data about its members, including community service hours and average GPA, and has to meet a minimum score to remain active.

6. Leadership Development: Texas State will host an annual leadership training, and at least 75 percent of chapter members must complete leadership training.

7. Fraternity/Sorority Chapter Reinstatement on the Texas State Campus: Chapter presidents and advisers must meet with Greek Affairs staff to discuss the changes by March 30. Then, the chapters can begin training during the spring 2018 semester.

8. Individual Member Recommitment to Fraternity & Sorority Programming Document: Each member must recommit to their fraternity or sorority and sign a document agreeing to the steps the group must take to regain their active status. They also must affirm their commitment to ending substance and alcohol abuse, hazing and sexual misconduct.

Texas State University is the latest school to update their Greek Life rules over the last couple of years following the death of Penn State University fraternity pledge Timothy Piazza, who passed away in early 2017 due to hazing.

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