Four Texas State fraternities suspended for alcohol violations

A Texas State student was found dead at the Cool River Ranch property. (KXAN/Todd Bailey)
A Texas State student was found dead at the Cool River Ranch property. (KXAN/Todd Bailey)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Four Texas State University fraternities have been suspended after a student was found dead after a party.

Matt Flores, a spokesperson for the university, says the disciplinary actions were taken due to conduct involving alcohol at the party where 20-year-old Jordin Taylor died. Flores says Pi Kappa Alpha will be suspended for two years, Alpha Tau Omega for three years, Kappa Alpha Order for four years and Delta Tau Delta for five years. Flores says Pi Kappa Alpha is appealing the suspension.

In a statement to KXAN, Pi Kappa Alpha officials say they have “fully cooperated with law enforcement and the university investigation.”

The four fraternities were suspended on Jan. 6 following a review by a student justice panel in the Office of Student Involvement, which is the body that typically decides disciplinary actions against students and student organizations on campus. Flores says at this time he has no details about police violations other than they were for alcohol-related infractions.

In a statement to KXAN, the Alpha Tau Omega National Fraternity says all of the chapter’s undergraduate members have been indefinitely suspended from the fraternity. “Violations of the Fraternity’s risk education policy and the University’s code of conduct prompted the decision. The chapter is closed and ATO no longer has a presence on campus.”

Flores says there are currently 31 active Greek organizations on campus.

A look at the fraternities’ permit to host the party shows it wasn’t easy going. The initial request had three fraternities co-hosting with alcohol and 1,000 people attending, the university denied that request. However, Texas State approved a second request by just two fraternities with a lower attendance estimate of about 260 people.

Although law enforcement continues the criminal investigation, documents handed over to Guadalupe County Commissioners in a December meeting suggest the partiers may not have had permission to be there in the first place. Attorney Joseph Stallone submitted a letter from the Cool River Ranch Owner that he says was signed and notarized.

The letter reads, “The individual who hosted the event at the ranch did not have permission, written, verbal or otherwise to host a party or event of any kind. That individual trespassed that evening, and again after the incident occurred. The Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Department was called out to the ranch to handle the situation, and we have since notified the individual that not only is he unwelcome on or anywhere near the property, but also that any and all business dealings past present and future are void.”

KXAN spoke with the owner of Cool River Ranch, but he denied our request for comment on the party.

In October, Taylor’s body was found under a bus at the Cool River Ranch in Martindale. Deputies say she was dragged more than 500 feet after being hit by a bus owned by Skyline Party Bus.

Throughout the investigation, the university said Pi Kappa Alpha and Alpha Tau Omega were the two fraternities that were hosting the party that night. The university also said the off-campus event was registered through the university. A week after Taylor’s death, the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at Texas State University voluntarily suspended its operations.

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