Greek Board Comes Down Hard on DKE

The University’s Fraternity and Sorority Standards Review Board made it clear in early December that UNC continues to monitor Delta Kappa Epsilon closely amid a turbulent 2009. In a letter sent to the fraternity, the board established 24 recommendations and directives to serve as a blueprint for improvement.

Melissa E. Exum, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students who is the board’s chair, said in the letter that DKE’s failures to demonstrate improvement dating to an April 29, 2009, appearance before the board had necessitated a new set of standards. Exum wrote that DKE’s own remedial and educational efforts “do not appear to have produced sustained, positive change in your chapter, nor, minimally, consistent adherence to applicable University and IFC policies.”

The student-run Greek Judicial Board handed down heavy sanctions in September to DKE as punishment for what it found to be violations of alcohol policy. That board cited two violations at a party just more than two weeks after the death of DKE President Courtland Smith and during a period in which the fraternity was facing an investigation by the University and the judicial board. The judicial board’s one-year social probation also covered what it called an extensive two-year record of violations.

Exum wrote that immediate removal of University recognition was not yet warranted. She cited DKE’s articulated commitment to “positive cultural change” and the benefits of educational and organizational measures in the board’s decision to not remove University recognition.

The board commended DKE for the exploration of a substance abuse program, dedication to community service, expansion of leadership and the drafting of new policies. But, Exum wrote, the board also determined that “these initiatives, standing alone, are insufficient to produce ‘long-term culture change.’ ”

The new set of standards focus on five areas: fraternity governance and management, accountability, recruitment and new member education programs, academics, and campus community involvement. The recommendations and directives include:

  • Creation of additional leadership positions, including a vice president of education and a vice president of risk management;
  • Selection of a faculty adviser;
  • Creation of a local alumni advisory board that will attend executive council, judicial board and chapter meetings regularly;
  • Strengthened involvement from the national organization through an internal review of chapter policies, governance, membership and activities;
  • Creation and implementation of a social and risk management policy for chapter events involving alcohol;
  • Development of a testing or examination method for members to measure understanding and retention of DKE, IFC and University policies; and
  • Development and implementation of an academic improvement plan that includes target GPAs for the chapter and individual members and incentives for academic achievement, such as a scholar recognition program.

Included in the letter was a stern reminder that the board may convene at any time in the event of referral, disciplinary action or violation of policies if DKE’s actions should so require. Exum also warned in the letter that if DKE did not make significant progress on the improvement plan, the board would again consider removing the University recognition from the chapter.

Exum said DKE’s compliance with the plan would be reviewed in February, May and September.

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