A fraternity at East Carolina University has been closed — three weeks after the drug arrests of several members.
The Phi Kappa Tau national organization announced the closure of the ECU chapter after an investigation by the organization and in collaboration with the university. The fraternity was closed Monday with no plans to reopen.
It is the fourth fraternity shut down this year at East Carolina. Besides Phi Kappa Tau, the actions have been taken by the national organizations of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Delta Chi.
"It is very disappointing to see a chapter that has strayed from our mission of providing brotherhood, learning, ethical leadership and exemplary character," stated Tim Hudson, chief executive officer for Phi Kappa Tau's national organization, based in Oxford, Ohio. "The National Council has sent a clear message that the actions uncovered in the investigation are not permitted within our fraternity. We look forward to continuing our partnership with East Carolina University who is supportive of this action."
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Five members of the fraternity were charged with drug offenses on April 10 after a raid by the Greenville Regional Drug Task Force, a collaboration among law enforcement agencies.
Officers seized 2,500 bars of Xanax and two shotguns at the house at 409 Elizabeth St. in Greenville. Xanax is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines, used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The drug is commonly abused and can cause overdoses. Authorities said marijuana was also being sold from the house.
Early this year, the fraternity was placed on deferred suspension by the university for violations of university and fraternity policies on alcohol and safety. The closure resulted from the drug arrests, "along with the chapter's overall history," according to a news release from ECU.
The university will continue its investigation of the individual students involved.
Virginia Hardy, ECU vice chancellor for student affairs, said in a statement that "our Greek students must understand that accountability and responsibility are key components of this experience."