Dig Baton Rouge

LSU says Greeks face big restrictions for tailgating

No group of 10 or more LSU Greeks at a single tailgate. No organized service events like blood drives. No new member shirts, buttons, or other attire. No game day banners or decorations at Greek housing.

LSU handed down its list of banned Greek activities this week in the wake of a student’s death, according to The Advocate, and it could have a significant impact on the campus’s life going forward.

The university said Maxwell Gruver, 18, died from possible hazing activity involving the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Investigators said his blood alcohol level was highly elevated after his death, as were traces of marijuana in his system.

LSU President F. King Alexander suspended all Greek life activities indefinitely as a result. The national Phi Delta Theta organization also revoked the LSU chapter’s charter this week.

The university sent a memo around to Greek organizations explicitly laying out the things LSU would and would not permit under the suspension. Group meals with new members are allowed, but recruitment events or self-organized new member events aren’t. Risk management workshops for Greek chapters are fine, but no other group meetings including Greek leadership will be allowed.

The memo was dated for this week, but LSU said the ban would extend beyond that.

The Advocate reports that the suspension could face legal challenges as a result. First amendment attorney Scott Sternberg told reporter Rebekah Allen that limiting the freedom of assembly and expression might get LSU in hot water.

“It’s incredibly concerning that the university thinks it can tell 10 consenting adults that they can’t gather together in a public forum,” he said. “It smacks of disregard for the basic right of association.”

Alexander said this week the school will observe a “week of reflection” for Gruver. Local authorities and the national Phi Delta Theta office are continuing their investigation into the circumstances of his death.

Image: Rae Anne Felder Gruver / Facebook

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