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Published: 10/1/2013

University suspends fraternity over alleged hazing

BY STEVE LYTTLE
THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER (McT)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A University of North Carolina Charlotte fraternity has been placed on suspension, amid an investigation into a possible hazing incident early last month, university officials say.

A separate criminal investigation is under way in Montgomery County, according to the sheriff’s office there.

The actions are in connection with events which allegedly took place on the first weekend of September during a campout involving the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Uwharrie National Forest. An 18-year-old UNC Charlotte student who was a pledge with the fraternity was hospitalized that weekend, Montgomery County authorities say.

The student was forced to drink alcohol during the campout, according to the Observer’s news partner, WCNC-TV.

According to WCNC and the sheriff’s office, the student was taken to the hospital Sept. 7 by fraternity members after the 18-year-old, who is from Waxhaw, failed to wake up. Doctors determined the student’s blood alcohol level was .42, or more than five times the legal limit, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The student has recovered and is back in school.

UNC Charlotte officials say the fraternity has been placed on “interim suspension” and is being investigated and charged with conduct violations.

“The actions of individual students are being investigated and will be adjudicated through UNC Charlotte’s conduct process,” according to a statement released by the Dean of Students’ Office. “The university’s conduct process is unrelated to any potential criminal charges, and the decision to prosecute will be made by Montgomery County, since the alleged hazing incident took place there.”

Pi Kappa Alpha is a nationwide fraternity founded in 1868 at the University of Virginia. Its website says the fraternity is part of HazingPrevention.org, an effort to eliminate the practice of hazing.

There was no immediate response from the fraternity’s headquarters in Memphis.

A Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at Florida International University was suspended in August, according to The Miami Herald, after a Facebook page maintained by the group went public. According to the Herald, that Facebook page contained offers to sell drugs and had boasts by students about hazing.



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