COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Thursday night was cold and quiet in Downtown Columbia. Students stayed in, either to avoid the cold or avoid breaking new protocols.
Fraternity activities at the University of Missouri were suspended after a Phi Gamma Delta freshman was found unresponsive with alcohol poisoning. The suspension applies to all 35 fraternities, as a university spokesperson says this event was just a catalyst and the investigation is looking into several issues with Greek Life.
Justin Early, a DJ at NashVegas in Downtown Columbia, said on a Thursday night, people could barely walk down the sidewalk, which was empty on tonight.
"I don't know what's going on, but for what we call a Thirsty Thursday, it's extremely, extremely slow," Early said.
Students and bar workers expressed concern about Greek Life's rising dangers, from sexual assault allegations to people going to the hospital with alcohol poisoning.
"We had two private parties cancel this week on us due to the fact of protocols," Early said. "They're just trying to make sure all the kids are safe."
Phi Gamma Delta, also known as Fiji, was already on probation when the university suspended them. In an email to ABC 17, the university spokesperson said Fiji was given a hazing violation last semester for making pledges to do physical exercises, buy members food, and clean members' houses.
The university said the existing charges might factor into the fraternity's punishments, depending on how the investigation pans out.