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SAE Will Not Rush, Remains Suspended

By Frank Dabek and Zareena Hussain
News Editors

Sigma Alpha Epsilon will not be rushing this year after the administration decided not to lift the fraternity's suspension despite appeals from the fraternity.

SAE was suspended in April following an incident in which a prospective freshman was served alcohol at the SAE house. In addition, the Interfraternity Council sanctioned SAE in August for violations of the athletic rules for contacting freshmen and for violating their suspension by contacting freshmen over the summer for rush purposes.

Suspension remains in place

Wesley T. Harrington '98, president of SAE said that he was informed on Friday that the administration "wouldn't be lifting the suspension."

Dean for Students Margaret R. Bates said that "summer was clearly a factor" in the decision not to lift the suspension.

There was a need for additional time to show "that both their intentions and actions are consistent," said Andrew M. Eisenmann '70.

"We fully expected [the suspension] to be lifted because of the great amount of progress we have made," Harrington said. He said that the fraternity has been meeting with it's alumni and had, over the summer, "very constructive" meetings with the administration.

The SAE alumni have asked the Institute to reconsider lifting the suspension and allowing the fraternity to rush. Rush preparations are going ahead "in the chance that something should develop."

SAE promises change

A statement released by SAE states that, due to a realization that the "environment in which we live is being so closely watched by outsiders we decided to make many changes within our house, which would have positive effects not only on our own behaviors and attitudes, but on MIT students as a whole."

Harrington said that many of the changes, including the modifications to the fraternity's pledge program and the addition of a community service program have been implemented in response to the suspension.

SAE additionally stated that "earlier this summer, we were lead to believe that because of the programs installed by our alumni and the changes occurring within our brotherhood" the suspension would probably be lifted.

The fraternity also said that "incidents at other fraternities in the past month" are responsible for the continuation of SAE's suspension.

"Allegations about other issues were part of the discussions with SAE," Eisenmann said. Evidence released at the IFC trial alleges that a member or members of SAE were involved in striking Timothy S. Zue '98, a member of Delta Upsilon.

The evidence also includes a letter from the Intramural Athletic Executive Committee stating that SAE had been suspended from play due to an incident during a B-League soccer game. The letter states that the IM Office received more complaints about SAE teams than all other teams combined.

As a result of that IFC trial, SAE was banned from participating in any residence selection activities before 6 p.m. on the Saturday of rush and from having freshmen overnight during rush. SAE was also levied an additional $1,000 fine. Duane H. Dreger '98, president of the IFC, called the punishments a "moot point," since the fraternity will not be rushing.

Lost rush will affect house

Harrington said that while losing the chance to rush is detrimental, "It's something we can weather. It's not the end of our house." The fraternity hopes to participate in a possible January rush.

"Our goal is to try to get our suspension lifted before [January]," Harrington said. The fraternity hopes that it will not be forced to raise its house bill, however.

Douglas E. Heimburger contributed to the reporting of this story