Local News

Fraternity of slain UNC student sanctioned

Posted September 21, 2009 5:18 p.m. EDT
Updated September 21, 2009 5:46 p.m. EDT

— 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.