The University’s Greek Judicial Board is preparing to investigate after allegations surfaced against two UNC fraternities — one of which has been suspended by its national chapter.
Chi Phi and Pi Lambda Phi are both being investigated by the University and Chi Phi has been suspended by its national body in conjunction with UNC, said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp in an interview last week.
According to the Chi Phi national website, the fraternity is being investigated by its national body for alleged alcohol violations and inappropriate new member activities. Pi Lambda Phi chapter leaders and UNC administrators have not yet commented on why that fraternity is being investigated at the University level.
Fields Pierce, the incoming chairman of the Greek Judicial Board, said the fraternities’ cases are different and there is no connection between them.
And due to the cases’ timing, Pierce said if a formal investigation is launched, it likely wouldn’t be until next semester.
“The unfortunate thing within these cases … (is) everything is unfolding right before break,” Pierce said.
Crisp said the decision to suspend Chi Phi was made by its national fraternity body, but that he and the University support the decision to cease all chapter operations.
“We always investigate any allegations that come to us about hazing, alcohol or anything else that’s contrary to University policy and that is based on our own policies or procedures,” Crisp said.
Chi Phi has been in the spotlight since David Shannon, a freshman and pledge in the fraternity, died after falling from equipment at a Carrboro concrete plant in October 2012, but Crisp said this suspension is not related to that incident.
Crisp would not disclose specifics of the Pi Lambda Phi case, and chapter president Robert Harrison declined to comment on Sunday.
“There is an investigation (into Pi Lambda Phi) and there are some allegations, (I’m) not going to get into any more details, but yes, the institution is aware of some allegations and they’re being investigated,” Crisp said.
Pierce said the GJB investigation process for any allegation begins with contacting the fraternity in question, and then one or two board investigators are assigned to the case.
Once an investigative report is presented, the GJB solicitor general decides if a trial is necessary.
Pierce said if it gets to the trial stage and the allegations are supported by the board’s investigation, there could be different types of sanctions than what has resulted from violation hearings in past years — ones that he hopes would be more effective.
Pi Lambda Phi was the subject of an investigation in November of 2012, and a hearing board found the fraternity guilty of four different alcohol policy violations. Pi Lambda Phi was put on social probation for two weeks and then deferred probation for two weeks after that at the time.
But Fields said the GJB is looking for more effective punishments for violations.
He said other options that are being discussed this semester include alternatives to social probation punishments, such as bringing in speakers to address certain issues. For example, if there is an alcohol violation, the board would bring in a speaker to discuss the dangers of binge drinking.
“We just want to ramp up the relevance and effectiveness of sanctions,” Fields said.
Senior Writer Caroline Leland contributed reporting
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