Fraternity chapter at TXST was suspended shortly before pledge's death

Matthew McKinley Ellis, 20, a pledge for Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, was found dead Monday morning at an off-campus apartment. Police say alcohol may have been a factor in his death. (Photo courtesy: Ellis family)

The national office for Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, Inc. says it suspended the chapter at Texas State University last week, prior to the death of one of its pledges.

Matthew McKinley Ellis, 20, was found dead Monday morning at an off-campus apartment. Police say alcohol may have been a factor in his death.

"We are heartbroken by the death of Texas State University student and Phi Kappa Psi new member Matthew Ellis," said Phi Kappa Psi Executive Director Mark Guidi. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and the entire TSU student body during this difficult time."

The fraternity did not give a reason for the suspension, but says the chapter will remain suspended during the investigation of Ellis' death and advised all members to cooperate with law enforcement and the university.

Texas State University suspended all fraternity and sorority activity, including new-member events, chapter meetings, social functions and philanthropic activities, until a thorough review of Greek life on campus is completed.

"I have asked Dr. Joanne Smith, Vice President for Student Affairs, who has responsibility for the Greek Affairs system, to immediately initiate this review," Texas State University President Dr. Denise Trauth said in a statement Tuesday afternoon, "and propose recommendations for reinstating fraternity and sorority chapters that demonstrate a commitment to the core values of Texas State and the ideals established by their respective national organizations."

At least one student, who was a member of a sorority, told CBS Austin she was happy the university suspended the entire Greek system, noting a concern for student safety in a culture of unregulated parties.

San Marcos Police say Ellis' friends called 911 at approximately 11:35 a.m. Monday from The Millennium, an off-campus apartment complex in the 1600 block of Post Road, and told dispatchers he was not breathing.

When medics and police officers arrived, they found Ellis unresponsive. He was declared dead at approximately 12:30 p.m.

An autopsy has been ordered.

Police say Ellis lived on the Texas State University campus.

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