Expert on hazing says there's an institutional problem in fraternities

All Greek life is suspended at Texas state University following the death of a student. (CBS Austin)

All Greek life is suspended at Texas state University following the death of a student.

University officials confirm that 20-year-old Matthew Ellis was found unresponsive Monday, and alcohol may be a factor in his death.

University President Denise Trauth said Ellis attended a party Sunday night held by a university fraternity. Ellis was a Phi Kappa Psi pledge.

An expert on college fraternity life told CBS Austin this is an institutional problem.

Hank Nuwer is the author of a new book called Hazing: Destroying Young Lives. "These are not villains that pass away in this. They're kind of ordinary all-American males, which I think is tragic and sad," Nuwer said.

San Marcos Police are investigating Ellis' death, but it has not been linked to hazing.

Nuwer said there is a systematic problem within fraternities.

"The fact that we've had alcohol related hazing deaths at LSU this year, we had one at Penn State which was really horrific because it was videotaped. We've got a real national problem," Nuwer said.

Last year, Texas State student Jordin Taylor was found dead under a shuttle bus after attending an off-campus party co-hosted by four fraternities.

The university suspended those four fraternities, but Tuesday afternoon Texas State President Denise Trauth suspended all fraternity and sorority activities until a review of the Greek Affairs system is done.

Nuwer said that may not be the answer. "The fact that you've only had nine or ten sorority deaths all-time and none lately and only two with alcohol shows you that it's not the same as with fraternities. So it's kind of like a parent saying 'I'm going to punish everyone in the room so I know I got the right one," Nuwer said.

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