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FIU Prepares Response As Month-Long Suspension Of Greek Life Nears End

Miami Herald
FIU President Mark Rosenberg said the university will strengthen student misconduct policies and enforcement following a one-month "pause" of Greek life on campus.

A month-long suspension of Greek life at Florida International University is about to come to an end, and President Mark Rosenberg said the school will have some answers on Feb. 1 about what’s going to happen next.

The university will make a formal announcement then, but Rosenberg said he plans to strengthen student misconduct policies and enforcement. He also said the university will hold several “public dialogues” with alumni who are members of Greek organizations during the month of February.

“Greek life in this country is hanging by a thread," Rosenberg told WLRN after a meeting of state higher education officials at Florida State University in Tallahassee last week. “What has happened over the last couple of years, and now coming to a head over the last 18 months, is absolutely unacceptable in terms of student misconduct. And university presidents have an obligation to step up and to provide clarity and intentionality in terms of how we're going to fix that."

At the meeting, FSU President John Thrasher outlined for the State University System’s board of governors his administration’s plans to try to change the culture on the Tallahassee campus.

Thrasher halted Greek life at FSU after Andrew Coffey, 20, of Pompano Beach, died of alcohol poisoning during a hazing incident on Nov. 3. Nine members of the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi have been charged in connection with his death. (Thrasher since announced some fraternity and sorority activities could resume.)

FIU has had its own troubles with Greek organizations; a fraternity there was suspended in the fall after members' sexually violent and anti-Semitic comments surfaced publicly. Rosenberg followed FSU's lead, announcing the one-month suspension for January. 

“The university is willing to accept that it has to do better in terms of how we, if you will, go about protecting our students,” Rosenberg said.

Is a ban on Greek life on the table? Rosenberg said he hopes not.

“I do not see an indefinite suspension at this point,” he said. “I think that would be unreasonable given all the good things that are going on with Greek life at Florida International University.”

Jessica Bakeman is Director of Enterprise Journalism at WLRN News, and she is the former senior news editor and education reporter. Her 2021 project "Class of COVID-19" won a national Edward R. Murrow Award.
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