‘The Greek community at Washington State must change’: Interfraternity leaders introduce development initiative following student’s death

Whitman Co. Coroner determines cause of WSU fraternity death as ‘acute alcohol intoxication’
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A 19-year-old man died in the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at WSU early Tuesday morning. Police said his death may be linked to alcohol. 

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s Interfraternity Council on Sunday introduced what they are calling the “initial step” toward improving policies and regulations within the Greek community.

The IFC Development Initiative was created in the wake of Sam Martinez’s death. The Whitman County Coroner ruled the 19-year-old freshman died from alcohol poisoning at the Alpha Tau Omega house last November.

Amid the investigation, the IFC suspended all fraternity and sorority events for the remainder of the semester. The IFC released the new initiative just ahead of the spring semester.

“In response to the recent events within our community, it has become increasingly clear to the Council and individual chapter leadership that the Greek community at Washington State must change,” the IFC President and Public Relations head said in a letter. “The implementation of the IFC Development Initiative is a necessary step forward; not solely sufficient on its own. The Council wants to make it clear; significantly more steps will be taken on top of the following.”

The initiative introduces a variety of changes, including conduct release forms on chapter members, the prohibition of alcohol at Big-Little events, required alcohol education programming and sanctions for policy violations. Additionally, IFC leaders said they intend to create a committee dedicated to lobbying the Washington State Legislature on laws pertaining to hazing, furnishing alcohol and other items that have affected WSU’s Greek community.

The IFC’s release of the development initiative comes two weeks before the council intends to lift the ban on Greek events.

Read more about the IFC Development Initiative here.

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