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Fraterity recovers from lost rush

By David Stern

Pi Lambda Phi, whose rush privileges for last fall were suspended for drug and alcohol violations, is currently in good shape, according to fraternity president Mark E. Housman '91. Although only 28 people are living at the house, which has a capacity of 40, the fraternity is having no financial problems, Housman said.

Although the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs stated in a letter to PLP last May that the house could petition for a reinstatement of rush privileges no earlier than March 1989, rush privileges were reinstated in January because the house had fully cooperated with the ODSA, the national fraternity, and Alumni Board in implementing policy changes, according to Neal Dorow, ODSA advisor to independent living groups. One freshman pledged in the January rush.

With the declining male enrollment at MIT, many fraternities have been facing difficulties attracting enough men. Although the suspension of rush privileges could have caused major financial difficulties, none resulted because the fraternity's treasurer successfully reduced the budget, according to Housman. Next fall's rush will "not be unmanageable" even if the house does not fill up, he said.

Last May, the ODSA sent a letter to the fraternity detailing accusations of illegal operation of a cash bar, illegal use of nitrous oxide at a pledge party, use of alcohol after initiation, and use and availability of other illegal drugs. "In light of the above issues, we do not feel that this House provides an environment which constitutes an approved MIT residence," the letter stated. The letter also stated that the national fraternity, the Alumni Board, and the Dean's Office would conduct individual interviews with house members and would work with the house to implement policy changes. However, no individual was disciplined by either the national fraternity or the ODSA, according to Dorow.

The ODSA was pleased with the changes in the house, according to Dorow. Everything was being conducted in a "legal manner," and he anticipated no further problems. "The patient has recovered," he said.

Drug use is "nil," according to Housman. The house "has not been in better shape in years." In fact, the national fraternity selected the chapter to host the Regional Leadership Conclave last week, he said.