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MIT terminates SAE frat for alcohol violations

The Dean's Office has withdrawn recognition of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity, effective immediately, for violating their pledge to be alcohol-free and serving alcohol to a minor.

The fraternity, which has houses at 480 and 484 Beacon St. in Boston, was suspended by MIT in September after allegations that an underage Wellesley College freshman had been served alcohol at a party at 484 Beacon St. At the time, SAE was supposed to be alcohol-free as a result of earlier violations.

SAE was the second fraternity to close at MIT in two years. Phi Gamma Delta, which hosted the party that led to the alcohol-related death of Scott Krueger in September 1997, has disbanded.

The Boston Licensing Board (BLB) suspended SAE's dormitory license at 484 Beacon St. on October 28 and ordered it vacated by November 15. The BLB acted when members of the fraternity did not appear at a hearing two days earlier to face charges that an underage Wellesley College student was served alcohol in the fraternity house on September 2-3.

The BLB held a hearing yesterday (November 16) on neighbors' complaints about activities at SAE's house at 480 Beacon St. Thirty-one members of the fraternity and 14 pledges have resided at the two addresses.

Dean for Student Life Margaret R. Bates made this statement at the hearing:

"At a disciplinary hearing last week, MIT terminated Sigma Alpha Epsilon as an MIT-recognized fraternity, effective immediately.

"On November 10th, a disciplinary panel in the MIT Dean's Office heard charges that had been filed against the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity by the MIT Campus Police. Those charges related to the allegations that alcohol was present and served at the SAE house in Boston in early September in violation of MIT policies and of a previously imposed condition that the fraternity be alcohol free.

"The Hearing Panel found from the evidence presented to it that the violations had occurred. It voted unanimously to withdraw the fraternity's recognition as an authorized student group at MIT, and to terminate approval of the fraternity's residence facilities in Boston as Institute-approved housing.

"These actions are effective immediately, with the Dean's Office to carry out the details of implementation. All freshmen at MIT are required to live in Institute-approved housing. MIT has already made arrangements to house all of the freshmen SAE pledges in MIT residence halls. Upperclass members of the fraternity who want to live on campus may apply on the same terms as other MIT upperclassmen if space becomes available in MIT residence halls.

"The disciplinary panel recommended that the Dean's Office enter into discussions with the alumni organization of SAE to consider whether a new relationship between SAE and MIT might be established, but not earlier than fall 2001.

"Under MIT's disciplinary rules, the decision of the Hearing Panel may be appealed to the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education.

"MIT will continue to cooperate with the board as the board decides the status of SAE under the Boston licensing regulations."


In Cambridge over the weekend, Campus Police closed down an authorized party at Kappa Sigma (407 Memorial Dr.) at about 1am Saturday when it grew to 450-500 people, well beyond its authorized number. Campus Police received a call shortly after 5am from Boston College police, who reported an 18-year-old BC student was brought to the BC infirmary by friends after he returned drunk from the Kappa Sigma party. They interviewed the student later at the BC infirmary. The matter has been turned over to the Dean's Office for review.

Also in Cambridge, District Court officials continued until December 3 the case involving alleged use by three members and an alumnus of Boston fraternity Phi Kappa Sigma of illegal fireworks in their promotion of a Halloween party to benefit leukemia victims. The device, a confetti maker, exploded in Rm 10-250 on October 26, injuring a student's hands.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 17, 1999.

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