The University of North Texas has suspended all Delta Sigma Phi operations until further notice after four students were caught violating the recently enacted alcohol ban by the university.
The Dean of Students Office issued a letter to Delta Sigma Phi, a fraternity on Maple Street, last week over allegations that the UNT Police Department observed four members of the fraternity removing alcohol from a vehicle and walking toward the Delta Sigma Phi house. The letter invoked the immediate suspension of the fraternity pending the outcome of the investigation.
Immediate suspension of a student group, according to the letter sent to the fraternity, means the group will cease all activities, meetings, programs and representation as a group while an investigation is in progress.
All requests for comment were referred to the University Relations, Communications and Marketing office.
The dean of student’s immediate suspension of Delta Sigma Phi is also based on the fraternity’s alleged failure to comply with a reasonable directive from a university administrator, specifically a ban on alcohol at all Panhellenic events issued by the vice president for student affairs on Feb. 6, UNT spokeswoman Kelley Reese said via e-mail Thursday.
According to a UNT police arrest affidavit, a 20-year-old was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor near a gray Chevrolet sport utility vehicle in the 900 block of West Eagle Street on Feb. 16. An 18-year-old, allegedly carrying two 30-packs of beer, was cited for minor in possession of an alcoholic beverage. Two other minors, according to the affidavit, were standing near the SUV that allegedly held more alcohol.
Reese said in a telephone interview that the school does not have control on who gets punished for the alleged crimes.
According to UNT police, the individuals claimed they were carrying alcohol into the Delta Sigma Phi house after a planned party was canceled, according to Reese.
The immediate suspension of Delta Sigma Phi is the first action taken against a Greek organization since the ban on alcohol was issued.
The ban of alcohol at all Panhellenic events was instituted following an accident at the Delta Sigma Phi house in January, when 20-year-old Dustin Starks, a member of Sigma Nu, was hospitalized following a fall from a stairwell.
Starks, a business major, has since been discharged from Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
After an 11-day investigation, UNT police raised concerns about the availability of alcohol to minors. Seven people between the ages of 18 and 21 were arrested on charges of providing alcohol to minors stemming from the investigation related to Stark’s fall.
The Sigma Nu fraternity was suspended in 2010 for hazing and underage drinking. The suspension was lifted last fall after an investigation was completed.
Reese said she cannot speculate on what final actions the dean of students may or may not take, or when they may be taken, in regard to the recent suspension of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .