Texas State releases new Greek life rules

Texas State University is taking new steps to protect students that join Greek life on campus.

Student Affairs released six pages of new rules for fraternities and sororities to follow. 
University President Denise Trauth suspended all Greek life at Texas State in November. The decision was a result of the death of Sophomore Matthew Ellis, a Phi Kappa Psi pledge whose death police said was a result of excessive alcohol consumption. 

"This is definitely the most comprehensive program we've ever put into place and I think that, given conversations I've had across the country with some of my colleagues as we've all been dealing with Greek issues, I'm feeling good about this.  I think we're on the right track, " said Dr. Joanne Smith, vice president for student affairs. 

Smith said the new policies include everything from education of what each chapter does to rules about who can have social events.

"I definitely want to rebrand Greek life at Texas State. Parties are nice to have, but that's not what Greek life is about," Smith said. 

In order to hold a social event where alcohol is consumed, the chapter involved must attend training and maintain a GPA above 2.24. The higher the chapters GPA, the more social events they will be allowed to host. 

Not everyone believes that will curtail the amount of alcohol-related incidents at the university. 

"Kids are going to find a way to drink. If a Frat's not hosting a party, someone else will," said Texas State freshman Arielle Raveney. 

The new policies will require each member of each chapter to commit to the university guidelines. 

"If a chapter decides they don't want to do all of those elements, we are prepared to say they are no longer a part of the Greek Affairs office," Smith said. 

Students tell FOX 7 Austin they are proud of college officials for suspending Greek life until there were new restrictions in place. 

"I do think now there's more awareness among us where it's like maybe dont drink that extra bottle, maybe don't take those few shots,  maybe let's watch each other, let's eat, let's not let our friends pass out face first, " Raveney said.  

Students and university leaders alike hope it's enough to keep other pledges safe. 

"We never want to lose a student, never, and so our goal is we don't want that to happen again," said Smith. 

Sororities and fraternities will be able to apply to reinstate their chapters as early as Thursday. 
Phi Kappa Psi, however, had their charter revoked by their national organization, so they will not be able to reinstate.