Article credited to Texas Monthly:


Greek Tragedy

Texas State University has suspended all fraternity and sorority activitiesindefinitely after a student died following a fraternity event, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Matthew Ellis, a twenty-year-old sophomore at Texas State, died after attending an off-campus fraternity party, which Texas State newspaper The University Star reported was a Phi Kappa Psi initiation event. The Express-News reports that the Phi Kappa Psi chapter was already under investigation at the time of the incident. Ellis’s death—which police say might have been alcohol-related—could be another instance in a disturbing trend of hazing-related deaths among fraternities across the U.S.

State of Hate?

The number of hate crimes rose nationally for the second year in a row in 2016, even as monitoring groups question if Texas is among states that are underreporting them, according to the Houston Chronicle. An FBI statistics report revealed on Monday that across the U.S., law enforcement agencies reported 6,121 criminal incidents last year, up from 5,818 in 2015. In Texas, however, that number dropped to 178 bias-related crimes in 2016 from 191 the previous year. “We believe Texas is one of those states that has a significant issue of underreporting,” Brian Levin, of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, told the Chronicle.

Bathroom Fallout

The head of the state’s top business lobbying group said that Texas lawmakers spent too much time focused on the bathroom bill in the last legislative session, according to the Dallas Morning News. Texas Association of Business Chief Executive Jeff Moseley said his group would have preferred that the Legislature focus on issues like the franchise tax and other business-related bills in the state. William Mellor, the vice president and general manager of economic development consulting firm AngelouEconomics, told the Morning News that the bathroom bill, which ultimately failed, could have cost the state billions of dollars. “Every minute we spend legislating social issues, such as the bathroom bill or sanctuary cities or bills like those, is time not spent on the business climate and the competitive edge of our state,” said Mellor, whose firm conducts studies on behalf of the business association.