Texas State University Media Relations

Texas State student's death may have been alcohol-related

School shuts down Greek activities in wake of student's death

November 14, 2017 - 4:29 pm
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SAN MARCOS (KJCE) -- The death of a Texas State University student may have been alcohol-related, according to officials.

San Marcos Police say they received a call from the Millenium Apartments in the 1600 block of Post Road just before 11:30 a.m. Monday morning, reporting a person not breathing. When EMS and officers arrived, they found 20-year old Matthew Ellis of Humble unresponsive. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police say individuals at the scene said Ellis was a pledge for Phi Kappa Psi; an official cause of death is still under investigation, but police say preliminary signs point to alcohol being a factor.

In light of Ellis' death, Texas State University President Denise Trauth has suspended all Greek activities at the school, effective immediately. Her statement this afternoon:

As president of Texas State University, I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of one of our students who attended an off-campus social event on Sunday evening hosted by members of a university fraternity. Following a call from friends, officers with the San Marcos Police Department found Matthew Ellis, a Phi Kappa Psi pledge, unresponsive on Monday morning at an apartment off campus. He was pronounced dead after EMS personnel were unable to revive him. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and the Texas State Community.

As a result of this tragedy, I have suspended activities of all Greek fraternity and sorority chapters at Texas State. These chapters are prohibited from holding new-member events, chapter meetings, social functions, and philanthropic activities until a thorough review of the Greek Affairs system is completed.

I have asked Dr. Joanne Smith, Vice President for Student Affairs, who has responsibility for the Greek Affairs system, to immediately initiate this review and propose 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.

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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