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Fraternity Suspended After Death

October 21, 1998

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ A fraternity that provided alcohol to a university freshman who fell out of a window and died has lost its campus charter.

The governing body of Phi Delta Theta voted unanimously to suspend permanently the charter of its University of Michigan chapter, Robert Biggs, executive national vice president of the fraternity said Tuesday.

University officials said Courtney Cantor, 18, had attended parties Thursday at Chi Omega sorority and at Phi Delta Theta, drinking at the fraternity party. She returned early Friday to her sixth-floor dormitory room and, according to investigators, accidentally fell through a window that opened just 12 inches wide.

The daughter of Detroit News columnist and editorial writer George Cantor was found unconscious on a concrete loading deck outside her dormitory. She died of skull and spinal fractures.

An autopsy showed Ms. Cantor’s blood-alcohol level was below the state’s legal definition of intoxication. But Phi Delta Theta had been ordered in 1995 by the national organization to be alcohol-free, Biggs said.

``Last week, the chapter members broke their commitment to keep their house alcohol-free,″ Biggs told the News in a report today. ``The culture of alcohol is destructive to those values and has no place in Phi Delta Theta.″

Phi Delta Theta is the fourth University of Michigan fraternity in as many years to lose its charter over alcohol-related incidents, Associate Dean Frank Cianciola said.

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