Student falls head first off of PKS roof
By Jeremy Hylton
Stuart E. Nelsen '92 fell from the second floor of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity house on Saturday, Nov. 3. Nelsen, a brother at PKS, sustained serious damage to his face when he fell from
the roof of a porch at about 3:30 am.
Nelsen fell while he and a group of friends were throwing pumpkins off the roof. He landed head first on the concrete below. The roof over the house's porch is not protected in anyway, according to PKS President Jack R. Scheuer '91. No one else was injured in the incident.
Nelsen was hospitalized for a week as a result of his injuries and underwent reconstructive surgery. Nelsen has since returned to PKS and is attending classes. "He's doing fine," Scheuer said.
PKS changed house policies as a result of the accident. People will no longer be allowed on
the roof from which Nelsen fell. Scheuer refused to comment on any other action taken by the fraternity as a result of the accident.
MIT is investigating the circumstances of the accident, according to James R. Tewhey, associate dean for students affairs. "We're trying to find out the circumstances under which he fell," Tewhey said. He declined to comment on the details of the investigation while it is underway.
Scheuer is aware that investigation is being conducted, but has not been approached by Tewhey. "Nobody has spoken to me yet," he said.
As part of the investigation, Tewhey is looking into the allegation that Nelsen was drinking. He said he was not in a position to say whether Nelsen had been drinking. "We have some information on that; we have no idea how accurate or complete it is," Tewhey said. Nelson is not yet 21, and therefore below the minimum legal drinking age.
Scheuer also declined comment on the possibility that alcohol was involved, but did claim that Nelsen was not drunk.
"We do not know if he was served alcohol by a fraternity or if he obtained it on his own," said Advisor to Fraternities and Independent Living Groups Neal H. Dorow, who is working on the investigation with Tewhey.
If a fraternity or other living group had served Nelsen alcohol, it would face the possibility of a lawsuit from Nelsen's family or insurance company. The insurance company could sue to recover the cost of Nelsen's medical bills. Tewhey said he had "no suggestion" that either party would sue.