Hazing, alcohol violations reason for disciplinary actions taken against 4 UNCW Greek organizations

Hazing, alcohol violations reason for disciplinary actions taken against 4 UNCW Greek organizations

**EDITORS NOTE: The report states WECT first reached out in October to learn why the organizations were listed as being under disciplinary sanction. At the time, the university could not comment because the disciplinary process was “active.” WECT reached out again to administrators in mid-January with a formal records request for more information.**

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Six of UNCW’s 30 greek organizations are not in good standing with the university.

Three fraternities and one sorority are still under disciplinary action after undergoing administrative hearings in the fall semester. Two more organizations are listed on UNCW’s website as being suspended from the university.

WECT reached out to the university back in October to learn why four organizations had been put under disciplinary sanctions. A recent records request provided more insight into what happened.

Those documents reveal the university found Delta Zeta, Chi Phi, Delta Sigma Phi and Kappa Alpha responsible for various violations, including providing alcohol to minors, hazing and furnishing false information.

The cases were resolved within just a few weeks of each other in the fall and all four organizations are under disciplinary probation until October, meaning they aren’t in good standing with the university. According to the code of student conduct, in the event of a further violation while on disciplinary probation, the university will seek the penalty of suspension or expulsion.

Even though they were adjudicated in the same time frame, university officials say the cases are not connected.

Accusations and consequences

Many of the records sent to WECT were heavily redacted and contained few details about the accusations against the four chapters.

Chi Phi was found responsible for providing alcohol to minors, according to case files from UNCW. As a result, they were placed on disciplinary probation, social probation, and asked to review their plan from nationals on how to implement and manage BYOB events.

Delta Sigma Phi was required to meet with university leaders to discuss how to better their risk management policies after the university found they provided alcohol to minors. The group was also placed on disciplinary and social probation.

Delta Zeta was placed on disciplinary probation, social probation and had to undergo education through nationals after they were found responsible by UNCW for hazing and providing alcohol to minors.

The paperwork for Kappa Alpha provided the most insight into what prompted the sanction from the university. According to the documents, they were found responsible for furnishing false information and hazing.

Two different anonymous people reported hazing of new members was occurring. Accusations listed in the case resolution form include personal servitude, alcohol consumption, lineups that included physical abuse, head shaving and an overnight scavenger hunt.

Interviews with the organization’s officers confirmed many of the allegations, however, an informational attachment from the assistant dean of students provides some context and notes that not all of the allegations that were reported were substantiated during the university’s investigation.

For example, when the case report notes “personal servitude” allegedly took place, the term actually refers to new members being required to clean up houses after parties and serve as sober drivers.

“Weekly lineups,” while in violation of the UNCW hazing policy, refers to the fraternity’s practice of requiring new members to stand together and answer questions about the history of the fraternity. The chapter admitted during one of the lineups, new members were required to drink.

According to the supplemental information from the assistant dean of students, the scavenger hunt prompted new members to travel Wilmington and take photos of themselves at various sites in the city.

How it’s handled

The details surrounding incidents involving UNCW students and organizations are difficult to secure. While certain police records are considered public information, disciplinary actions taken by university officials are protected under FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

UNCW says violations of campus or university policies, or federal, state, or local law may result in violation of the UNCW Code of Student Life and imposition of student discipline.

When WECT asked at what point law enforcement is called in to investigate, a university official said, “that depends on the incident.”

When asked what consequences the people in the most recent cases face, university officials directed us to see the possible sanctions listed in UNCW’s code. Those include disciplinary probation, suspension, and even expulsion.

According to the code, disciplinary records are confidential and cannot be disclosed except for certain offenses. The university may only disclose the final results of campus disciplinary proceedings in which a student is charged with a violent crime or non-forcible sex offense.

Past Suspensions

According to the university’s website, two other Greek organizations are also not in good standing with the university.

Delta Tau Delta’s charter was suspended by nationals in 2017 and the Alpha Tau Omega chapter has been suspended until fall 2020.

WECT has reported in the past that Delta Tau Delta repeatedly violated the fraternity’s risk management policy, but no more details were available.

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