The four East Carolina University students arrested during the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity investigation have been allowed to finish the semester.
Grant Swanner, Nolan Leonard, Jordan Kowalski and William Carter were arrested on April 10 when Greenville Police Department searched the house at 409 Elizabeth St. and found more than 2,500 Xanax bars, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Following their arrests, the national organization suspended ECU’s chapter of the fraternity.
Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor of the Division of Student Affairs, said in an emailed statement the University is following its standard protocol when it comes to the students punishments.
“Regarding the organizational decision, we have been supportive and will continue to be supportive of the national chapter and it’s decisions. As for the individuals, we have followed our existing processes and cannot comment further on the rationale for any decisions,” Hardy said.
John Mountz, the director of Greek Life at ECU, said the individuals’ cases and the disciplining of their chapter will be resolved separately.
However, since the students' haven't gone through any sort of disciplinary process with the university, they are allowed to finish the semester.
“Both the individuals and the chapter have been sent to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities,” Mountz said. “They will follow the same process, but the chapter will also face consequences at the national level.”
ECU’s Greek Life office has no statistical data on the amount of drug-related problems and whether they are more prevalent than in previous years, according to Mountz. He said this is because ECU Greek Life’s main focus is to diminish substance abuse and other illegal activities throughout the year.
“We just tend to work with what’s going on right now and access whether we need to make any changes,” Mountz said.
Student Government Association President Jordan Koonts and Vice President Lillie Rhodes declined to comment on the arrests and the current situation with the students.
Phi Kappa Tau is the fourth ECU fraternity to be shut down this year. The ECU Delta Chi Chapter was shut down indefinitely on Jan. 8 by ECU and its national organization for hazing, violating risk management and failing to uphold the values of the fraternity. The ECU Lambda Psi Chapter was also shut down on Jan. 8 for hazing and violating alcohol policies. Sigma Alpha Epsilon was closed on March 2 for policy violations following its suspension for policy violations.
According to a press release from the Greenville Police Department, the Phi Kappa Tau investigation was the culmination of a three-week long investigation by the Greenville Regional Drug Task Force. GPD’s Public Information Officer Kristen Hunter said in an email the investigation was the result of “proactive police work and community tips and involvement.”
Of the four students, Carter has the closest court date on June 4, according to court records. Swanner, Leonard and Kowalski will all go to court on July 18.