Local News

Fraternity of slain UNC student to keep charter

Posted December 1, 2009
Updated December 3, 2009

— University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill officials have decided to allow a fraternity whose president was shot and killed by a police officer in August to maintain its charter.

Meanwhile, the Randolph County District Attorney's Office is sifting through information to decide if charges should be filed in the police shooting.

UNC's Fraternity & Sorority Standards Review Board considered revoking the charter for Delta Kappa Epsilon because of repeated violations in the past two years, culminating in alcohol infractions at an August party.

The Greek Judicial Board placed the fraternity on social probation for the 2009-10 school year because of the alcohol infractions, 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.

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.

The State Bureau of Investigation has finished looking into the circumstances of Smith's death and has turned its findings over to local prosecutors.

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.

The UNC review board laid out a detailed plan for Delta Kappa Epsilon to follow in the coming months to educate members and make improvements.


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  • djcgriffin Dec 2, 2009

    dmccall - i would like to know why it is that absurd.

  • djcgriffin Dec 2, 2009

    scientistjo, I dont think it was that he was drinking. I think the violation occurred when a fraternity sponsored event had alcohol present. It was against the rule to have alcohol during rush week (i presume) and members cant purchase it with chapter funds. That's where the mistakes were made.

    And what type of frat brothers would let their brother DRIVE away from that party if he was THAT drunk?

  • scientistjo Dec 2, 2009

    What!?! There was drinking on a college campus!? If you kicked everyone out who drank a beer, you'd be left with about 500 students.

  • I guess I will just type this Dec 2, 2009

    This is a top of the home page news story? Really? The whole fraternity/sorority thing is a big joke, never understood the concept of paying for friends and to be treated like junk while pledging. I live with 3 frat guys (who I had went to high school with) for 2 years in college. There was nothing that I saw of with their frat that was of a constructive or positive nature. I don't think they should be in any institutions; social frats that is...

  • dmccall Dec 2, 2009

    It is utterly ABSURD that the fraternity's charter was even in question.

  • elhj83 Dec 2, 2009

    Ahh...that's at Carolina.

  • djcgriffin Dec 2, 2009

    Had this been any other fraternity or sorority, they would no longer be allowed on campus. But because it's DKE and they've been there forever and have the most vocal alumni, they get off with social probation??? GET REAL.