Shannon was found dead on Oct. 27, 2012, after a fall from a concrete mixer at a plant in Carrboro. The death was originally investigated for ties to hazing, though no connection was ever found. New information indicates Chi Phi accepted responsibility for hazing its pledges weeks before Shannon’s death.
On Oct. 3, 2012, Chi Phi imposed a three-week, self-initiated social probation in response to violations of hazing and alcohol policies.
Although the fraternity accepted responsibility for hazing, an investigation by the UNC Greek Judicial Board found the chapter not responsible and imposed no hazing-related sanctions.
New member activities involved embarrassing activities, physical separation of members and pledges, and the positioning of new members in subservient roles — a “clear violation of the Code (of Conduct for New Member Education)” the Board said.
But the Board ultimately found the event in question was not conducted with malice toward the pledges and found the fraternity not to be in violation of hazing policy.
“The Chi Phi Fraternity has had a presence on this campus since before the American Civil War. Doubtlessly, the pledge process of the Fraternity is steeped in tradition, and (redacted) would seem to be one of those,” the final investigation reads. “It is the opinion of the Solicitor that the event was likely conceived in a different time, when hazing was considered much more acceptable and considerations such as public embarrassment of the pledges were not kept in mind.”
The Board imposed separate sanctions for having a keg in the house at the time of the new member event, violating alcohol policy.
The documents, recently released to the DTH by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Community Involvement, indicate the office received an anonymous report of hazing at Chi Phi on Sept. 11, 2012. The details of the report were not made available, but documents show the report came from the parent of a pledge and that the alleged hazing was to occur in the future.