President Mark B. Rosenberg sent the following message to the university community on Nov. 15, 2017:
Dear members of the university community,
As you may have seen or read in the news, a recent hazing event at Florida State University resulted in the death of a fraternity pledge. In response to this case, as well as another, unrelated incident involving the arrest of a fraternity member charged with the sale and trafficking of cocaine, Florida State University President John Thrasher issued an indefinite interim suspension for all fraternities and sororities at FSU and banned alcohol at all student events.
Sadly, these tragic and unfortunate incidents continue to happen at colleges across the country. As a nation, and as a university community, we have reached a turning point: We must give our full attention to this ongoing issue – too many young lives and bright futures are at stake. I commend President Thrasher for his decisive action to ensure the safety and security of all students at FSU.
Last week, the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) gave its full support to President Thrasher. Further, members of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee indicated that similar action may need to be taken at all institutions in the state university system. This issue will be on the agenda again for the January BOG meeting.
At the same time, at FIU we have been confronting conduct – by more than one fraternal organization – that is inconsistent with the expectations we hold for our students. We are carefully reviewing existing policies regarding student organizations and calling upon our student groups to be leaders in abiding by university policies that support and promote a safe living, learning and working environment on our campus.
We encourage all community members to take an active role. Community members are encouraged to engage in bystander intervention and take steps to address concerning behavior if it is safe to do so. If you are aware of unsafe, illegal or dangerous behavior, please report it to police or anonymously through the Student Affairs anonymous reporting portal.
While there is looming uncertainty over the future of fraternities and sororities, I call on all FIU students, especially the Greek community, to uphold our values as Panthers and treat each other with dignity and respect. Our FIU is a caring community committed to ensuring academic and career success, and a positive and safe experience for all our students.
Mark B. Rosenberg