CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A University of North Carolina at Charlotte fraternity has been placed on “interim” suspension for serving alcohol at an off-campus party attended by underage students.
According to the university, officers with UNC Charlotte Police and Public Safety, and NC Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) responded to the Chi Phi fraternity house on E. Mallard Creek Church Road Saturday night on suspicion alcohol was being served to underage students.
Police said 75 people were cited for underage drinking and DUI. Several students including, the 19-year-old fraternity president were arrested and charged for misdemeanor possession and aiding and abetting possession of alcohol.
"We are definitely disappointed. We do a lot of training, education and hold students accountable, so they know the consequences of drinking rules on campus and off campus,” said Michelle Guobadia, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at the UNCC campus.
“We are disappointed that students took it upon themselves to blatantly violate their own national policy, and our university policies as well,” she said.
Guibadia says the fraternity is one of 37 Greek organizations on campus. Chi Phi has been disciplined in the past for a similar offense she says.
“They have had hills and valleys of good and some bad behavior over the last couple of years. They recently came off a deferred suspension as of June of 2013 of last year, so we would have hoped after being on some disciplinary standards for a while, they would have understood what those standards,” she said.
According to the search warrant, an ALE agent answering a noise complaint, observed four males consuming alcohol outside the house. The underage student stated they got the alcohol from inside the fraternity house. Agents report after getting consent from the fraternity president to enter, they found an intoxicated 20-year-old female in one room who had to be transported to the hospital by Medic.
The warrant went on to say, the agent heard noises coming from several locked rooms. CFD was called in to use a “breeching” device to forcibly unlock several doors, to ensure no one was in danger of alcohol poisoning. The warrant stated, 40 underage persons admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages.
Students in the Greek system were not allowed to comment publicly about the party. An 18-year-old student, who did not want to be identified said she was among two students taken to the hospital. She described it as a tamed gathering of students, and despite her objections was taken to the hospital.
She says students were not given an alcohol test, but cited anyways.
Students that were issued a Campus Appearance Ticket (CAT) are now required to meet with the Office of Student Conduct and discuss the alleged activity. UNC Charlotte spokesperson says at the end of that meeting students are offered “an informal or mutual” resolution. Conduct officers will either find students responsible or not, and students may be sent to the Student Health Center to go through drug and alcohol assessment program for education and counseling.
“We try and make our conduct process an educational learning experience, but there is an accountability here, it’s a community here at UNC Charlotte, and the community only works if students are held to the standard everyone agrees to follow,” said Guobadia.
The incident will be investigated by UNC Charlotte Police and Public Safety and the Dean of Student Office.
Guobadia says most of the 1600 student affiliated do good philanthropic and service work.
“These are value based organizations. they promised to be better men and women, and we are going to hold them to that,” she said.