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Student death under investigation

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President Denise Trauth suspended Greek Affairs after the death of Matt Ellis, a Phi Kappa Psi member. Ellis was found by friends Nov. 12, following a social event held by the fraternity
Photo by Shayan Faradineh | News Editor

Update: Nov. 15. 2:40 p.m.

The investigation into the Ellis’ death will potentially take months to resolve. Investigators await the toxicology results from the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Mayor John Thomaides commented on the tragedy.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Ellis family and to the entire university community,” Thomadies said.


Update: Nov. 15. 12:21 p.m.

A week prior to Ellis’ death, the national chapter of Phi Kappa Psi ordered the Texas State chapter to cease its social activities due to an on-going investigation.

In a statement from Phi Kappa Psi, Executive Director Mark Guidi said the chapter will work with law enforcement and Texas State.

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

According to the press release, the chapter had been suspended for unrelated matters.


Update: Nov. 15. 11:08 a.m.

Kristi Stark, interim communications director for the City of San Marcos, said the investigation is still taking place and it will be “some time” until the district attorney filed a criminal case.


Update: Nov. 15. 9:45 a.m.

San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp told the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV a criminal case is likely.

“I think it is pretty likely we are going to have some kind of criminal case,” Stapp said. “Once we know the complete picture, we will have to have discussions with the district attorney on the most appropriate course of actions. It’s not going to be overnight by any means.”


Update: Nov. 14. 3:53 p.m.

President Denise Trauth sent an email regarding the tragedy. In her email, Trauth stated she has suspend all activities of fraternities and sororities until a review has been completed.

“As a result of this tragedy, I have suspended activities of all Greek fraternity and sorority chapters at Texas State,” Trauth stated. “These chapters are prohibited from holding new-member events, chapter meetings, social functions and philanthropic activities until a thorough review of the Greek Affairs system is completed.”

Trauth has asked Joanne Smith, vice president of Greek Affairs to immediately “review 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.”


Update: Nov. 14. 2:27 p.m.

At about 11:35 a.m. Monday, Nov. 13, The San Marcos Police Department was dispatched to Millennium Apartments at 1651 Post Road.

EMS and officers arrived and found 20-year-old Matt Ellis unresponsive. Judge Maggie Moreno pronounced Ellis deceased at 12:28 p.m.

Moreno ordered an autopsy on Ellis’s body. His body was sent to the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Preliminary investigation have indicated that alcohol may have been a factor in this death, but authorities are awaiting toxicology results from the autopsy


The death of Matt Ellis, a business sophomore transfer student from Humble, Texas is under investigation.

Matt Flores, university spokesperson, confirmed the death of Ellis Nov. 14.

Ellis passed away in his sleep Nov. 13 off campus, following his fraternity’s initiation. Ellis was a new member of Phi Kappa Psi. Members of Phi Kappa Psi declined a request to comment.

Flores said the University Police Department is assisting the San Marcos Police Department in the investigation and the fraternity will be reviewed.

This article will be updated as information is released.

In the nature of breaking news, The University Star is working timely to confirm and report accurately. 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Please excuse my provincialism, but in the State of Texas, it is not legal for anyone to drink alcohol if they are under 21 years of age (unless you are in your own home supervised by your parents).

    So, I sheepishly ask, where is the University and Law Enforcement, when it comes to these Fraternities and Sororities serving alcohol to under age students???

    I am tired of alcohol being the accepted “rite of passage” at our tax supported institutions of higher learning.

  2. Please excuse my provincialism, but in the State of Texas, it is not legal for anyone to drink alcohol if they are under 21 years of age (unless you are in your own home supervised by your parents).

    So, I sheepishly ask, where is the University and Law Enforcement, when it comes to these Fraternities and Sororities serving alcohol to under age students???

    I am tired of alcohol being the accepted “rite of passage” at our tax supported institutions of higher learning.

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