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CPs Find Underage Drinking at Bexley

By Daniel C. Stevenson
Sports Editor

Responding to an anonymous complaint of underage drinking, Campus Police broke up a Bexley Hall party late Saturday night, confiscated alcohol, and took the names of 18 underage students.

As yet, no sanctions have been imposed on the dormitory, said Dean of Students Margaret R. Bates.

The current MIT policy, enacted following the alcohol-related death of Scott S. Krueger '01 last October, forbids the serving of alcohol at events where underage persons will be present.

In another incident, a 21-year-old at Theta Xi was taken by Campus Police to Massachusetts General Hospital early last Friday morning to be treated for intoxication.

"Idon't anticipate any sanctions at this point," Bates said of the Theta Xi incident, as there was no underage drinking involved.

The names of the underage students at the Bexley party were turned over to the Dean's Office for possible disciplinary action. The students were residents of four dormitories, a sorority, and two fraternities. The Dean's Office declined to identify the students.

"We're in the really early days in terms of finding out what happened," Bates said. It is too early to tell what form the disciplinary actions, if any, would take, she said.

The Cambridge Police and the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission have not been notified, Bates said. Although the Cambridge authorities may have authority over the incident, they "don't usually intervene," she said.

Bates characterized the event as more of an "informal gathering" than a party. She said she found out about the incident on Monday from the weekly Campus Police reports delivered to her office.

No other complaints were made about the party, and no other illegalities were uncovered by the Campus Police, Bates said.

Bexley exempt from sanctions

Despite recent sanctions imposed on fraternities after alcohol incidents, no sanction, probation, or other kind of special supervision has been imposed on Bexley.

"I'm happy for Bexley" said Sigma Phi Epsilon resident John D. Dunagan '98. "They shouldn't be punished."

Sanctions and suspensions, both from the administration and student bodies such as the Interfraternity Council, are not the solution, Dunagan said. "It hasn't worked yet, and it won't work in the future."

"I wish we were treated the same" as Bexley, but given the pressures MIT faced from the Boston Licensing Board, it's difficult to compare the situations, he said.

Last month, the administration suspended Sigma Phi Epsilon from holding organized activities and having alcohol on the premises after an underage Baker House resident had to be treated for intoxication after reportedly drinking at the Sig Ep house. Earlier, Theta Chi decided to impose sanctions on themselves after a Boston University student was involved in a similar incident.

Discussions continue

Following Krueger's death last Sept. 29, administrators, including President Charles M. Vest, declared that the month of October would be used for "introspective dialogue" to "devote considerable amounts of time, effort, and thought" to the issue of alcohol on campus.

That dialogue is not finished and will continue through this month, Bates said. "We all intended that January would be a time to have a broad-based discussion on alcohol policy,"Bates said.

Part of the reason the discussions have been protracted is that incidents, including those at Bexley and the other fraternities, have occurred during the policy discussions, Bates said.

Jennifer Lane contributed to the reporting of this article.