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IFC orders Sig Ep to provide education on alcohol and CPR

The Interfraternity Council has ordered Sigma Phi Epsilon to pay $500 to support an alcohol awareness program and to provide CPR training to 50 people "to help change MIT's cultural dependence on alcohol."

The fraternity, at 518 Beacon St. in Boston, was involved in a December 6 alcohol incident. An 18-year-old woman student had been drinking at the fraternity and returned to her dormitory intoxicated. Friends called Campus Police at 3am to take her to the Medical Department. She was released the following afternoon.

The Dean's Office immediately suspended the fraternity and barred it from having alcohol in the house.

The 47 brothers, under the urging of their alumni corporation, voted on December 13 to make the fraternity permanently a substance-free house, to have a resident advisor, and to adopt the "Balanced Man Project," a membership development program of the national fraternity.

In a February 9 letter to Kevin Stange, a junior in mechanical engineering who was elected the new president of the fraternity after the incident, IFC Judicial Committee chair Katie Hardacre said its Executive Committee "accepts your guilty plea of violating the November 12, 1997 Risk Management Alcohol Policy. We appreciate your straightforward acceptance of responsibility surrounding the matter and we are impressed that the Sig Ep alumni organization took such quick and decisive action to prevent another similar occurrence.

"The Judicial Committee fully supports the Sig Ep alumni action, and has allowed Sig Ep's internal sanctions to mediate the severity of the Executive Review decision. Had the Sig Ep alumni not responded so promptly and stringently, the Executive Review would have resulted in a harsher penalty."

The IFC said the fraternity must be alcohol-free until at least June 1, must provide $500 "to support the acquisition of an Alcohol Awareness and Education Program, namely the one featuring Mitch Crane scheduled for March 14, 1998" and must advertise and elicit support for this program throughout the campus and fraternities, sororities and independent living groups.

Also, the IFC said, "Sig Ep must provide two CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) training sessions in order to train roughly 50 people" or substitute an event that supports "the IFC goals of making the campus alcohol-aware and of changing the MIT culture to not rely on alcohol)."

"The Executive Committee feels that these two sets of sanctions will not only prevent an alcohol-related occurrence at Sig Ep, but will also cause Sig Ep to help change MIT's cultural dependence on alcohol. Making Sig Ep part of the solution is better, in the Judicial Committee's mind, than just preventing them from being part of the problem."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 11, 1998.

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