UNC administrators say they have left it to the Greeks’ system of self-governance to make an initial determination on whether a party at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house violated UNC and Greek policies.
While alcohol-related fraternity violations are not uncommon — and the University usually leaves it up to the Greek system to investigate incidents and determine punishment — the Aug. 22 party has received an unusual emphasis because of the circumstances around it.
The night of the party was the same night junior Courtland Smith, who was president of Delta Kappa Epsilon, was killed by a police officer at about 5 a.m. near Greensboro. Smith was seen at the party around 12:30 a.m., according to a statement released by members of his fraternity.
Administrators have been quick to say that there are no ties between the investigation and Smith’s death, but they observed potential violations when they visited the fraternity to talk to members about it.
Administrators have put the first part of the investigation on the Greek Judicial Board, a group of fraternity and sorority members who evaluate potential violations.
“They are the ones really moving forward on investigating the allegations around the party,” said Margaret Jablonski, vice chancellor for student affairs. “They should be wrapping that up very soon.”
The judicial board is responsible for determining if there is evidence to hold a hearing on whether the fraternity violated Greek rules. Determining that evidence exists will not imply the organization’s guilt. Administrators could use that information to move forward with their own review.
The judicial board’s co-chairmen declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
Greek policy stipulates that all chapter activities be without alcohol during recruitment. One of the board’s tasks will be to determine if underage people drank at the party or if it was a recruitment event. Official recruitment for fraternities is taking place this week.
Senior Patrick Fleming, the fraternity’s co-president and treasurer and a DTH editorial board member, said he only found out about the investigation Tuesday and hadn’t been asked any questions.
“Nothing has been asked of us, but we are willing to fully cooperate with the investigation, and we’re confident that they won’t find anything wrong,” Fleming said.
Administrators have used the opportunity to open the door to further review fraternities and sororities.
“I think the University might take a look at what our relationship is with the Greek organizations, but it’s a little premature to determine at this point,” Jablonski said.
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