The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


SMU expels frat members

Students find ruling unfair in panel discussion

The SMU Judicial Board decided Friday to uphold a Jan. 29 rulingthat four students affiliated with the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternitybe expelled immediately from the university.

Senior Cornelius Smith and juniors Brandon Perry-Russell, EkbertParker and Byron Sanders were involved in a fraternity-relatedhazing incident that left junior business major Braylon Curryhospitalized after suffering from water intoxication in November atan off-campus apartment.

The students faced an appellate board of the University JudicialCouncil for hazing and assault in violation of the Student Code ofConduct. Following the board’s decision, the studentsappealed the ruling, but President R. Gerald Turner upheld thedecision. The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity has also been permanentlysuspended from the university.

“It was a long, difficult, fair process,” VicePresident of Student Affairs Jim Caswell said.


Student reaction

Some students disagree with Caswell and questioned the fairnessof the case during a panel discussion hosted by The Association ofBlack Students on Monday.

The panel was a part of the association’s regularlyscheduled meeting. Panelists included Caswell, Dean of Student LifeDee Sisco and Carol Webber of Legal Affairs.

Concerned students took the opportunity to question theadministration’s actions taken in the case.

Business major Alicia Hills asked the panelists if the hearingscould possibly be fair when members of the board are part of theSMU community and were exposed to the media’s coverage of theincident.

“Folks must vow that they will be objective, fair whenthey sign up for the judicial committee,” Webber said.

Junior Carl Dorvil asked why the students were tried at thehearing together.

“Each individual has their own separate hearing, butit’s [put] together in one big hearing,” Sisco said. Todefend themselves at hearings, students can bring their owndocuments and witnesses and can represent themselves, panelistssaid.

Students also questioned why the media was allowed on campuswhen Smith and Perry-Russell were arrested in December.

Caswell said the university had no prior knowledge that themedia was going to be on campus.

Webber agreed and said, “We know that SMU did not have anyadvanced warning.”

Turner called the district attorney and police department andboth said they didn’t know why the media was there, Caswellsaid.

Caswell told students that the process for this case was overand if students want to change the process they should talk withthe student government to make changes for the future.

“I think the process was followed same as it was outlinedin the handbook,” Sisco said.

Dallas police have charged Perry-Russell and Smith withaggravated assault with a deadly weapon — a class two felonyoffense. Although Parker and Sanders were present when the incidentoccurred, they do not face criminal charges. Arrest warrants havebeen issued for eight of the 12 individuals involved in theincident.

More to Discover