MIT Moves to Open Investigation of FijiBy Douglas E. Heimburger
MITbegan taking steps to open an investigation into the death of Scott S. Krueger '01 last week when it sent letters to former residents of Phi Gamma Delta requesting all information about the circumstances leading to his death.
"We're trying to ascertain what information is out there that can then let us determine what kind of investigation we want to proceed with,"said Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education Rosalind H. Williams.
After Krueger's death, Williams announced that MITwould not start an investigation until the end of any criminal proceedings on the matter.
Fiji lost Institute recognition in September under an agreement that prohibits it from applying for reinstatement until 2001.
At the same time, Suffolk County District Attorney Ralph C. Martin II charged the unincorporated association with one count of hazing and one count of manslaughter. Those charges were placed in default in October after the fraternity failed to appear at its arraignment.
All students that lived in Fiji in October 1997, including freshmen and those who have graduated, have been asked to supply the Dean's Office with any information they have about the night of Krueger's death and the events leading up to it. The letters were sent before Thanksgiving so that Fiji residents could discuss it with their parents, Williams said. She added that students likely would discuss the matter with their lawyers as well.
The Institute is beginning with the Commonwealth's statement of the case, which is the only publicly available information about the case, Williams said. The document, prepared by Assistant District Attorney Pamela Weschler, details the state's view of the incidents during the fraternity's "Animal House Night"that led to Krueger's death.
While MITmay discuss information with outside groups such as the Boston Licensing Board, it is not doing so at this point.
"We have every interest in moving things along as quickly as we can,"Williams said. A decision on whether MITwill proceed with an investigation into Krueger's death will be made after the information from the students is analyzed during the Independent Activities Period.
Those who were at Fiji have been asked to make contact with Williams' office rather than the Committee on Discipline or other Institute disciplinary groups since the formal investigation has not begun. Students may submit either oral or written comments, Williams said.
Some students have already responded to the requests, Williams said.
Interfraternity Council President Duane H. Dreger '99 said that the IFCwill not be conducting an investigation into Krueger's death since Fiji is no longer a member after it lost its Institute recognition.