Published: Thu, November 16, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Greek life suspended after Texas State sophomore found dead in pledging incident

Greek life suspended after Texas State sophomore found dead in pledging incident

Texas State University has suspended its Greek Life after a fraternity pledge died early Monday afternoon.

Denise M. Trauth, Texas State's president, said in a statement that all Greek activities are suspended.

"We are heartbroken by the death of Texas State University student and Phi Kappa Psi new member Matthew Ellis", Phi Kappa Psi Executive Director Mark Guidi said in the statement.

Matthew Ellis, a Pi Kappa Phi pledge, was found unresponsive on Monday morning after attending a private fraternity event at an apartment on Sunday night, authorities said. Preliminary findings indicate alcohol may have been a factor in his death, but San Marcos police are awaiting results of a toxicology tests.

Mr. Ellis, 20, was a sophomore transfer student studying business.

The university is investigating whether Phi Kappa Psi held any social events the night before Ellis was discovered dead, Matt Flores, assistant vice president for Texas State University Advancement-Communication, told ABC News. Trent Baker, whom the fraternity's promotional materials list as one of three recruitment captains, declined to comment when reached by phone; the other two captains, Austin Rice and Jake Stewart, did not return calls.

At about 11:35 a.m. Monday, Nov. 13, SMPD received a call at 1651 Post Rd (Millennium Apartments) in reference to a subject who was not breathing.

In a statement on Tuesday, the national organization for Phi Kappa Psi said that the Texas State chapter had been suspended last week for "unrelated matters" and added that it would remain suspended during an ongoing investigation. It is not clear if they are members of the fraternity where Ellis was pledging. Members of Phi Kappa Psi declined a request to comment. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and the Texas State Community.

All chapters are unable to host new member events, socials or meetings, according to the email. Texas State had launched an investigation October 4 based on a complaint it had received in late September.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and the entire [Texas State] student body during this hard time", Guidi said.

If it is determined that hazing played a role in Ellis' death, charges could range from providing alcohol to a minor to manslaughter, KSAT reported.

'It is imperative that our entire university community develop a culture that places the highest priority on the safety of its students, faculty, and staff'.

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