COLUMBIA, MO. — The University of Missouri stopped all fraternity activity after a freshman was found unresponsive inside the Phi Gamma Delta house.
Police rushed to the fraternity, known as Fiji, early Wednesday morning for a student who wasn’t responding. The freshman was taken to the University Hospital for alcohol poisoning. While Phi Gamma Delta is under investigation, Mizzou said the entire fraternal Greek life system needs a review after reports of concerning behavior.
“We received a notification that a student had been transported to the hospital with what was expected to be alcohol poisoning at the time,” Communications Director for Mizzou Christian Basi said.
The university said in a letter Wednesday, based on initial investigation, they believe several members of Phi Gamma Delta drink significantly.
Basi said there are currently two investigations into the fraternity. One through the university’s police department to see if criminal charges need to be filed, another through Mizzou’s Office of Student Accountability which is investigating if any university rules or policies were violated.
“Based on the findings of either of those, the university could make a decision to take some disciplinary action,” Basi said.
The party inside Fiji’s house has the fraternity temporarily suspended by Mizzou and the fraternity’s national organization.
This incident also led the Interfraternity Council’s (IFC) executive board to unanimously vote to half all fraternity’s activities which include social events and university-sanctioned activities.
Wednesday night, hundreds of students protested outside the Phi Gamma Delta house against the fraternity.
“Everything that a fraternity might do as an organization, they are no longer allowed to do currently,” Basi said. “This is definitely a tactic we have not used in the past before.”
Basi said the university has received recent reports of bad behavior which led the IFC to review the entire Greek system.
“We want to take a deeper look into the processed that are set up among Greek life, take a look and see is there anything else we could be doing to make sure that students are involved in these organizations can be involved and engaged in those activities in a safe matter,” Basi said.
Since the start of 2021, Phi Gamma Delta has been disciplined for violating university policies and alcohol distribution and back in April for hazing.
“We stand in agreement with the actions being taken by the university as nothing is more important than the safety of the Mizzou community,” said Connor Sibley, IFC president, and MU senior.
“We are extremely concerned about the events that were occurring at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity,” said Bill Stackman, vice chancellor for MU Student Affairs. “
Stackman said the university will review the methods in place to ensure safety at fraternity events.
“As part of the investigations, we will hold anyone accountable who is found to have willfully ignored or violated university regulations. Those individuals could also face criminal charges,” he said.
Nursing student Jaylen Neff said her brother was in a fraternity at Mizzou.
“There definitely was the at first trying to impress everybody and getting their signatures and getting them to let you into their frat which I understand is like they want to make sure you’re going to fit in well in the frat but sometimes it seems like it’s more of trying to prove your worth and less of are you a fun guy to be around,” Neff said.
Many other students who wouldn’t go on camera agreed, Greek life needs a review before anyone else gets hurt.
“I know it sucks when you want to go out and have fun but always think of yourself and your safety first and your friends’ safety because people aren’t always kind out there, people aren’t always going to be your best friend,” Neff said.
Neff said with sororities, fraternities are such a large part of campus, people shouldn’t have to be worried about protecting themself.
“Obviously there’s some sort of reoccurring problem,” Neff said. “I know that we are college kids and everyone wants to have fun but that can be done in a safe manner as well, so if there are different policies they can put in place that will protect people, I think that would definitely be helpful.”
Basi said the university could not give an update about the student’s health Thursday.
Sororities are not affected but as for fraternities, Basi said he could not give a date when activities would resume.