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Document: UNC fraternity violated alcohol, conduct policies

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

UNC Chapel Hill’s Greek judicial board found that the Chi Phi fraternity chapter violated alcohol and conduct policies that prohibit alcohol and intentionally embarrassing new members or placing them in a subservient role, according to documents obtained by the Observer.

The Observer requested public documents related to the investigation into the death of David Shannon, a Charlotte teen pledging Chi Phi who fell to his death at a Carrboro cement plant in 2012. The Observer also requested documents about hazing at the fraternity.

This week, the UNC Chi Phi fraternity was put on probation for a year after an investigation into alcohol-related incidents involving new members last fall.

The fraternity, which has about 55 members, must also hire a resident adviser.

University and Carrboro Police Department officials have said the board’s investigation and a probe by the national Chi Phi fraternity are not related to the October 2012 death of Shannon.

Carrboro Police spokesman Capt. Chris Atack has said alcohol almost certainly played a role in Shannon’s death. Police do not know whether hazing or any fraternity activity was involved.

The national Chi Phi fraternity initially suspended the UNC chapter in November, pending its own investigation. The chapter’s meetings, social events and other activities were canceled, although members were allowed to live in the 7,000-square-foot house on South Columbia Street.

Among the other things the fraternity was accused of, according to the documents:

• Sequestering new members in an upstairs bathroom to bond as a pledge class before events.

• Forcing alcohol consumption before an event.

• Preventing members from sleeping by calling and texting them late at night.

• Trying to get new members to jump off the fraternity house’s balcony.

• Forcing new members to run from the top of the house to the front porch “through a ‘gauntlet’ of brothers who are punching, shoving, or otherwise aggressively contacting them.

• Forcing new members to engage in boxing matches accompanied by heavy drinking.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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