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SAE houses are shut down by Boston Licensing Board

Following MIT's lead, the Boston Licensing Board (BLB) last week shut down Sigma Alpha Epsilon's two Beacon Street houses indefinitely.

The BLB's three members voted unanimously on November 17 to suspend the dormitory license for 480 Beacon St. and ordered it vacated by December 19. The license for the fraternity's other house at 484 Beacon St. was suspended on October 28 and residents had to vacate by Monday. The BLB will allow three persons, none of them undergraduates, to reside at each location to maintain the properties.

Dean for Student Life Margaret R. Bates announced on November 15 that a Dean's Office Hearing Panel had terminated the fraternity's recognition at MIT after a hearing on November 10 and had recommended to the dean that the fraternity not be reconsidered for reinstatement before 2001. The charges considered by the Hearing Panel involved an alcohol-related incident in September.

The attorney for the alumni group that owns the fraternity's real estate, Carl King, said the alumni group planned to ask the Dean's Office to consider reinstatement for the 2000-2001 academic year.

At a hearing on November 16, BLB members applauded MIT for moving decisively and swiftly. BLB chair Daniel Pokaski said the board would not consider restoring the dormitory licenses until the fraternity is recertified as MIT-approved housing.

SAE was suspended by MIT in September as a result of allegations that an underage Wellesley College freshman had been served alcohol at a party in the house. At the time, SAE was supposed to be alcohol-free due to previous violations.

Mr. King said the alumni had voted to expel upperclass members of the chapter and had entered into an agreement with the city of Boston's Inspectional Services Department to correct sanitary and building code violations at both buildings.

Thirty-one upperclassmen and 14 pledges occupied SAE's two Boston buildings. All of the pledges (13 freshmen and one sophomore) have been offered housing in MIT residence halls. Upperclass members of the fraternity who want to live on campus may apply on the same terms as other upperclassmen and could be accommodated in residence halls if space becomes available.

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

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 24, 1999.

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