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SAE Takes Prefrosh by Mistake

By Shang-Lin Chuang
Associate News Editor

The safety and whereabouts of a prospective student were uncertain for about 12 hours during the April 68 Campus Preview weekend, after Sigma Alpha Epsilon made arrangements to host and pick up a visiting student without notifying the weekend's coordinators, according to Assistant Director of Admissions Lisa J. Oliveira.

During the half day after the student's arrival, his mother, the Campus Police, Massport Authority, State Police at Logan Airport, and Leo Osgood, associate dean and director of the office of minority education, were all called and notified in attempts to locate the prefrosh, Oliveira said.

SAE had arranged to host the prefrosh on behalf of athletic recruiting.

"As far as I know, it was only a simple misunderstanding," said football coach Dwight E. Smith.

"I gave Noe Batidas' name to the captains. [SAE] called him on behalf of MIT and thought he had been cleared, but it turns out that the people from admissions had made other arrangements," Smith said.

The Campus Preview staff located Batidas after a young woman reported that she and Batidas had been driven from the airport to campus by two football players. The staff then called several fraternities, Oliveira said.

When SAE was contacted, rush chairs Timothy M. Porter '96 and Kenneth T. Mills '97 explained that Batidas was staying with SAE and apologized for the trouble SAE had caused, Oliveira said.

At 2:30 that morning, an admissions staff member spoke with the rush chair and Batidas, "both on the phone and in person to verify his safety and well being," Oliveira said.

An innocent mistake'

"It was just an innocent mistake. A couple of guys in the house apparently had a misunderstanding with the coach and it wasn't confirmed," said SAE President Nicholas E. Bollweg '95. "Apparently the coach meant that we could show [Batidas] around."

"Assuming that he was our prefrosh, we never registered and checked him in at the Student Center, and that was what went wrong," Bollweg said.

"We thought we were supposed to be picking him up through the coach. We did that, handled him as any other prefrosh we get through the coach," Porter said. "It was an innocent mistake on our part that he wasn't properly registered through the Admissions Office."

"We are very disappointed that it happened," said Assistant Director of Admission Zaragoza A. Guerra III. "Things like this never happened before."

"I regret that it happened. Obviously we were trying to show him a good time, to get him to come to MIT and play on the football team, but we made an innocent mistake," Porter said.

This incident "was caused by a lot of things. It was a problem of miscommunication," Oliveira said. "The Admissions Office will be meeting with IFC to better inform them of the rush rules to make sure it will not happen again."

The Interfraternity Council is waiting for the Admissions Office to reach a decision. Once an action is determined, IFC will hold a trial in the next three weeks, in which a six-member panel review board will decide the proper sanction, said IFC Judiciary Committee Chair Gregory J. Miliotes '96.

"The Admissions Office is still discussing the issue. We are still talking with SAE to come up with the best and most constructive actions," said Admissions Counselor Yvonne M. Romero.