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MIT dean suspends alcohol by all at Zeta Psi fraternity

Statement of Professor Rosalind Williams, Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education

"I am Rosalind Williams, Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I would like to make a brief statement about MIT's response to the incident yesterday afternoon at the Zeta Psi fraternity of Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.

"First, MIT is cooperating fully with law enforcement and licensing officials following this incident. In cases where students are involved in legal proceedings, MIT waits until those proceedings have been completed before considering any internal disciplinary measures. We will therefore consider internal measures only after the judicial system has reached a conclusion.

"Second, the rules of the Interfraternity Council, the governing body that sets and enforces standards for all MIT fraternities, sororities and independent living groups, forbid the possession, purchase or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under 21. The judicial committee of the Interfraternity Council is investigating and will take appropriate measures based on the results of its investigation.

"Finally, the office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education is investigating this event, and the results may lead to disciplinary proceedings by this office against the fraternity. In order to have the status of MIT-approved housing units, our fraternities, sororities and independent living groups agree to comply with Institute standards and rules of conduct. These Institute-wide rules and standards involve non-discrimination, personal safety, building safety, and the like, as well as rules about alcohol usage. They clearly state that "Underage persons are not to consume, possess or be served alcoholic beverages in the house or at an ... activity [sponsored by the living group. All other relevant state and local laws and regulations concerning the use of alcohol are to be followed...."

"If the allegations concerning this incident are true, the Zeta Psi fraternity has violated its responsibility as an organization in allowing underage persons to possess alcoholic beverages in the house. We are therefore suspending all possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the Zeta Psi fraternity pending the outcome of our internal investigation and proceedings. This suspension applies to students over 21 as well as to underage students. We will begin the investigation next week and move ahead as quickly as possible."

The Interfraternity Council had earlier banned alcohol at all formal events at fraternities, but had not banned the private consumption in the fraternity house by those over 21. The Dormitory Council has taken a similar step.

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