By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
January 26, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Nine Florida State University fraternity leaders were due in court Friday morning after being charged with felony hazing in the death of pledge Andrew Coffey in November. Their hearing was postponed, but new police body camera video shows another fraternity thumbing their nose at the university's ban on Greek life.
One week after Coffey's death, and just four days after FSU President John Thrasher banned all Greek activity as a result, FSU Police came across 50 members of the Chi Phi fraternity taking a dip in the Westcott Fountain in front of the administration building at 3 a.m.
The video isn't dramatic, but the message was a collective middle finger given to the university and Greek ban.
President Thrasher says of the video, “I was mad... I was mad.”
Following Coffey's death at a Pi Kappa Phi party, Thrasher vowed to create a new normal.
“Frankly, if this happens again, I’m going to be very very concerned, and I hope their national organizations are also,” Thrasher said.
But nearly three months later, it's proving difficult.
“Isn’t it kind of a sign that the effort isn’t working?” we asked President Thrasher.
“It’s not. It’s not," Thrasher replied. "That’s why I said something about the national organizations. They need to get involved in this. If they don’t, I’m worried, Mike, that we are going to lose fraternities, and I don’t want that to happen.”
FSU's Chi Phi chapter was suspended for two years for violating the Greek life ban.
Alpha Epsilon Pi was also recently dismissed from FSU. It was found guilty of an extended six-week hazing of pledges that continued, at least, until the day after Coffey died.
State Attorney Jack Campbell is investigating.
"Once we get the results of it, we’ll take a look at it and decide if that constitutes a violation of Florida law," Campbell said.
The FSU chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, where 20-year-old Coffey was a pledge, was disbanded by its national organization. The house is now empty.
The property is controlled by a company owned by alumni. It will likely be rented to another Greek organization, if Greek life weathers this storm.
The complete police body camera video is available in the video player at the top of this article.