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Fraternity of slain UNC student sanctioned

Posted September 21, 2009

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— A University of North Carolina fraternity whose president was shot and killed last month by a police officer was sanctioned Monday for rules violations involving alcohol.

The Greek Judicial Board placed Delta Kappa Epsilon on social probation for the 2009-10 school year, meaning the chapter cannot hold any formals, mixers, tailgate parties or alumni events. The board also shortened the fraternity's pledge period from eight to four weeks.

The fraternity also will be forwarded to the Standards and Review Board, which will determine whether UNC-Chapel Hill will continue to recognize the chapter.

Chancellor Holden Thorp requested an investigation into Delta Kappa Epsilon following the Aug. 23 death of fraternity president Courtland Smith.

Smith, 21, was killed by an Archdale police officer during a confrontation along southbound Interstate 85 in Randolph County.

In a 911 call, Smith told a dispatcher that he was drunk, had a 9-mm handgun and was trying to kill himself. His parents said investigators told them no weapon was found on Smith or in his SUV.

Smith reportedly left a party at the fraternity house several hours before the shooting.

Witnesses reported that alcohol was being served at the party, in violation of policies governing pledge parties.

Delta Kappa Epsilon agreed to impose several additional sanctions on itself, including donating the social budget for the 2009-10 school year to sponsor the construction of a Habitat for Humanity house in Smith's name. Fraternity members said they would donate 500 hours of service to build the house.

In addition, the fraternity will launch a substance abuse awareness program and will crack down on members who commit major fire violations, such as setting off fireworks.

48 Comments

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  • Hammerhead Sep 23, 2009

    "YOu sure are being mighty rude about a group of people especially since it sounds like you have never experienced what these organizations are about."
    Oh, I've experienced what these organizations are about, that is why I have my opinion. Don't you get it?

  • uncgirl01 Sep 23, 2009

    YOu sure are being mighty rude about a group of people especially since it sounds like you have never experienced what these organizations are about. Obviously you have made up your mind. I will kindly allow you to have your own opinions and give you the respect you are not giving me or anyone else on this blog.

  • Hammerhead Sep 23, 2009

    "The Greek organizations you are so quick to judge give more back to the community than you ever will in two lifetimes!!"

    Really? How do you know this? And you talk about prejudging and baseless comments?

  • shortcake53 Sep 22, 2009

    rtpduder, i applaud your honesty. its very refreshing.

  • rtpduder Sep 22, 2009

    I was in a fraternity with individuals that had similar interests as mine, mainly drinking. Trust me, we partied hard and I have no regrets. Community service, Habitat for Humanity, Cancer Walks? Ya right... not the frats I visited. We may have given back to the community, but honestly I don't know what it would have been. The Greek life treated me well. Good times all around.

  • melhanpow Sep 22, 2009

    How long before the family sues the department saying the officers should have handle the situation differently.

  • shortcake53 Sep 22, 2009

    I have to laugh, calling frats and sororities worthwhile organizations is kind of like drug dealers saying they are part of the medical community. Call your club whatever you like, it still boils down to a need to feel popular, important, and accepted. Comparing a frat or sorority to other community organizations is ridiculous. I dont recall Habitat for Humanity or a Soup Kitchen being arrested for loud drunken parties. But tell yourself whatever makes you feel better, the rest of us can see what its really all about.

  • redoak Sep 22, 2009

    I was in a Fraternity and didnt join to find my self worth!! My fraternity consisted of other individuals that had the same intrests that I did. So are you saying when you join a group, lets say a glee club or boy scouts or a church or the Shriners, you do it to find self worth????? you really dont have any idea what you are talking about!! My fraternity volunteered time to many graet causes such as Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and cancer walks. The Greek organizations you are so quick to judge give more back to the community than you ever will in two lifetimes!!

  • shortcake53 Sep 22, 2009

    uncgirl i have grandchildren dear, and im proud to say none of them felt the need to join a frat to feel like they belonged. they have enough pride and selfesteem on their own without having to join a group to feel important. its sad to me that some (as yourself) need to join a group before you find self worth. maybe one day you will be able to separate yourself and find the real you. good luck.

  • Hammerhead Sep 22, 2009

    "It is very easy to see that alot of the people making harsh remarks about a Fraternity were never in one, or couldnt get in ( you mean "into", I'll assume ) one!!!"
    That comment made me laugh. Never in one because of how I saw the members act, which I've already mentioned. Couldn't get into one? Moot point, me thinks. I'll add this:
    "It is very easy to see that alot of the people making positve remarks about a Fraternity were in one!!!"

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