Texas State University President Denise Trauth confirmed that a Phi Kappa Psi pledge died Monday after attending an off-campus fraternity event, and she announced an immediate suspension of all activities organized by fraternity and sorority chapters at the university while officials complete a review.
Matthew McKinley Ellis, 20, was at an off-campus apartment complex called the Millennium, located at 1651 Post Road in San Marcos, when his friends noticed that he wasn’t breathing about 11 a.m. Monday. Medics responding to a 911 call pronounced him dead about an hour and a half later, San Marcos police said.
According to a preliminary investigation, alcohol might have been a factor in Ellis’s death, but toxicology results from his autopsy are still pending, police said.
Ellis is the second Texas State student to die since the winter of 2016 after attending an off-campus Greek event. Four Texas state fraternities were handed suspensions in January, ranging from two to five years, for alcohol violations stemming from a party last year in which 20-year-old Jordin Taylor, who belonged to the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, was fatally struck and dragged by a bus near Martindale.
Texas State University Greek chapters are now “prohibited from holding new-member events, chapter meetings, social functions, and philanthropic activities until a thorough review of the Greek affairs system is completed,” Trauth said in a statement Tuesday.
Joanne Smith, vice president for student affairs, is in charge of conducting the review and proposing recommendations for reinstating fraternity and sorority chapters “that demonstrate a commitment to the core values of Texas State and the ideals established by their respective national organizations,” Trauth said. “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.”