Local News

UNC fraternity suspended over possible hazing

Posted November 26, 2013 8:00 p.m. EST
Updated November 26, 2013 9:58 p.m. EST

— A fraternity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is under investigation for possible hazing.

In a statement posted Monday on its website, the Alpha-Alpha Chapter of Chi Phi confirmed it has been suspended from campus as “a result of alleged risk management violations including alcohol violations and inappropriate new-member activities.”

The chapter is under review by the Chi Phi national governing body.

Winston Crisp, UNC's vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said in a statement that the university supports the investigation and has "zero tolerance" for actions that threaten the health or safety of students.

"The university always investigates any allegations of such behaviors and will take appropriate actions based on the facts and the requirements of our own policies and procedures," he said.

Last year, a student who was pledging the fraternity died after climbing machinery at a concrete plant in Carborro and falling about 40 feet. According to an autopsy, David Palmer Shannon, 18, of Charlotte, had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he fell.

Carborro police initially said there was no evidence to suggest that fraternity hazing led to his death. However, WRAL News has learned that the incident remains under investigation.

Police said they have tried to interview more than a dozen students but haven’t received much cooperation. They think Shannon may not have been alone when he climbed the equipment and fell in the early-morning hours.

Police also said Chi Phi had just gotten off probation one day before Shannon died.

Crisp told UNC's "Carolina Week," a student news program, that Shannon’s death and the suspension are not directly related.

Despite the suspension, fraternity members will be allowed to continue living at the chapter house, Crisp said.

"Student Affairs will provide those students with the same services and support available to other students as we enter the final exam period next month," he said.