University of North Texas Suspends Fraternity for Racial Slurs
DALLAS The University of North Texas has suspended a fraternity chapter for five years after members allegedly used racial slurs and waved a Confederate battle flag at a group of mostly Black football recruits. Kappa Alpha’s suspension, issued last month, is the longest ban the school has ever handed out. The fraternity must vacate the house and withdraw from activity at the university until the suspension ends, officials say. “Five years is the most we’ve given anybody,” says university spokesman Roddy Wolper. “Five years of no activity ensures a whole different group.” UNT concluded Kappa Alpha violated the student code and that members gave misleading information about the incident, says Wolper. Larry Wiese, head of the fraternity’s national office, called the confrontation unfortunate. “I think the incident is not reflective of the entire chapter up there. It is certainly not reflective of the alumni from that chapter or the 94,000 living alumni,” Wiese told KTVT-TV in Dallas. Witnesses say the fraternity brothers used racial slurs and waved a Confederate battle flag at recruits who were touring the Denton campus, northeast of Dallas. “The flag is not a symbol of the organization and should not be used,” says Wiese. “Unfortunately, some individual members have from time to time displayed it.” The suspension comes after several questionable incidents involving the chapter. In 1990, the fraternity served probation for alcohol violations and in 1996 the group was placed on probation when a notebook containing racist comments was found in the fraternity house. The fraternity recently completed a two-year probation for 1998 hazing and alcohol violations. Hundreds of UNT students have protested against the fraternity chapter, whose members say the organization’s roots are in traditions of the Old South. Darrell Dickey, UNT football coach, says he hoped potential recruits would see it as an isolated incident.
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