LSU President F. King Alexander announced Thursday that the university will reinstate an alcohol ban at fraternity and sorority parties on campus until at least January 2018, citing revelations in recent days that some students had not "absorbed the severity and seriousness of the current situation."
LSU's initial crackdown on Greek activities in the wake of the death of a fraternity pledge …
After LSU freshman Maxwell Gruver died last month, in an incident police said was the result of alcohol poisoning and hazing at the Phi Delta Theta house, Alexander froze all Greek activities, ranging from philanthropy to parties.
In the weeks that followed, restrictions were gradually lifted. Last weekend was the first time since Gruver's death that fraternities and sororities were allowed to have parties with alcohol again, provided they engage in educational safety workshops and abide by security and ID checks. The ban on alcohol at parties was lifted one month after Gruver's death, and one day after 10 men were arrested on misdemeanor hazing counts. One member of the fraternity was also booked with negligent homicide.
Alexander said in a letter to Greek students that he has learned new information that made him reconsider the decision to allow drinking at parties.
"During this time, I have been approached by a variety of individuals ranging from current students to parents and alumni, who have shared information with me through confidential conversations," Alexander said in the letter. "These details demonstrate that there are those among us who have not yet absorbed the severity and seriousness of the current situation. It also underscores that there are a few who seek to maintain the status quo despite continued warnings about the dangers inherent in such actions."
The Advocate reported Monday that the ban on parties with alcohol had been lifted only one month after Gruver's death, which LSU police said followed a night of partying during which frat members forced pledges to consume alcohol during a drinking game.
"After evaluating the compelling stories shared with me and their frightening implications for student safety, I have determined that we will continue to allow Greek organizations to have registered on-campus events, but without alcohol," Alexander said. "This course of action will stand at least until the Task Force renders its recommendations in January 2018."
Phi Delta Theta was shuttered following Gruver's death and LSU has created an 11-person task force to evaluate Greek life policies and try to eradicate dangerous behaviors. Alexander said the ban on alcohol at parties will extend at least until the task force concludes.
Alexander again extended condolences to Gruver's family in his letter. And he urged students in Greek organizations to report behavior that runs afoul of university policies.
"I ask again that we work together in order to eradicate this dangerous undercurrent of behavior. Commit to change for the better," he wrote. "Do it for yourselves. Do it for your friends. Do it for Max and the Gruver famiy."
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