After reported sex assault, visitor's death, Kentucky college suspends Greek life

Murray State University suspended its Greek social activities Wednesday.
Murray State University suspended its Greek social activities Wednesday. Paducah Sun

Murray State University has suspended all social activities for fraternities and sororities following a tumultuous end to the school year.

In a letter sent to Greek students Wednesday obtained by the Murray State News, university president Robert Davies and Don Robertson, vice president of student affairs, said all social activities within the Greek life community are suspended "based on national trends and our own review of reports involving Greek activities."

Greek life is getting more scrutiny on campuses nationwide after deaths and incidents. The University of Kentucky board recently asked for an update on its policies. "There is a lot of discussion and concern with the sort of environment that fraternities and the Greek system are creating," dean of students Nick Kehrwald said at the time.

A Murray State committee will investigate there, and the review may extend into the fall 2018 semester, the university representatives said in their letter.

A student reported Sunday that he or she was sexually assaulted in an off-campus fraternity house, according to the Murray Ledger & Times. The gender of the student wasn't clear.

On April 29, a 19-year-old man visiting a friend died at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house. Zachary Waldrip attended a Pi Kappa Alpha Party on April 28 before returning to the Lamba Chi House.

No foul play was suspected in the death, according to the Murray State News. Lamba Chi and Pi Kappa Alpha have not been disciplined, Murray State News reported.

The suspension of Greek life activities at the university, effective immediately, is not intended as a punishment, "but rather a time for (students) to focus on philanthropic initiatives, membership education and the principles and values in which your organizations were founded," Davies and Robertson said in their letter.

University spokeswoman Adrienne King said "we must pause to assess our current policies and procedures to determine what, if any, changes are needed."

Murray State's spring 2018 commencement is scheduled for Saturday.