UNT bans alcohol at frat events in wake of student's fall

Posted Thursday, Feb. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The University of North Texas has banned alcohol from official fraternity and sorority events after an investigation into a student's fall from a balcony during a party at a frat house on Jan. 26.

Dustin Starks, 20, of Caruthersville, Mo., was in serious condition Wednesday at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, a hospital spokeswoman said.

UNT officials announced the ban Wednesday.

It does not affect adult students who consume alcohol at their homes or in public. But it does prohibit alcohol at Greek Life parties, formals "or any event involving a Greek student organization," the news release stated.

Officials also reported that campus police obtained arrest warrants for seven people suspected of furnishing alcohol to Starks and other underage UNT students on Jan. 25 and 26.

Arrangements were being made for the suspects to turn themselves in to police, said Kelley Reese, a UNT spokeswoman. Furnishing alcohol to minors is a class A misdemeanor, she said.

Starks fell about 4:30 a.m. Jan. 26 at the UNT Delta Sigma Phi house. Starks, a business major, is a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity at UNT but was visiting the Delta Sigma Phi house, Reese said.

"Dustin is a member of our family," Reese said. "We continue to be in touch with his family and we're keeping him in our thoughts.

"It's important for UNT to tell everyone we take this seriously, and safety is the most important part of our mission."

UNT officials will also form a task force to promote the responsible and legal use of alcohol.

"We will be taking more aggressive steps to educate our students about the risks of underage drinking," said Elizabeth With, vice president for student affairs. "And we are starting with our Greek community."

Bill Miller, 817-390-7684

Twitter: @Bill_MillerST

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