BLB Closes Second SAE HouseBy Dana Levine
Writing the final chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s history at the Institute, the Boston Licensing Board Tuesday suspended the fraternity’s dormitory license for their second house at 480 Beacon Street.
The suspension came after the Dean’s Office withdrew recognition for SAE last week. “The Boston Licensing Board will only recognize a dormitory license if a fraternity is affiliated with an institute of higher education,” said Dean for Student Life Margaret R Bates.
This action comes on the heels of the licensing board’s revocation of the housing license for SAE’s other house located at 484 Beacon Street.
“There are more than 20 fraternities in Boston. Most of them are well run, but several are out of control. They have to shape up or they will be shut down,” said Daniel F. Pokaski, who heads the licensing board.
The suspension is an “indefinite suspension” that will last until MIT officially reestablishes recognition of the fraternity, he added.
Alcohol incident spurs suspension
The latest series of actions began after SAE was suspended following an alleged alcohol incident at the fraternity on Sept. 7. SAE was on Institute probation at the time of the incident due to previous alcohol violations.
“There has been quite a history of actions against SAE,” Bates said.
Pokaski said that the suspension of the two housing licenses were “based on complaints by neighbors and based on MIT’s actions.” Pokaski added, however, that the licensing board would reestablish the dormitory licenses of both houses if MIT were to recognize SAE again.
“MIT is getting a bad rap about this” said Pokaski in describing the reaction of the media to the SAE situation.
“There clearly is some disappointment on our part,” said Bates. “We were encouraged by the direction that the chapter was taking.”
First eviction effective today
The closing of the house on 484 Beacon Street becomes effective today. “We have identified spaces for all of the pledges on campus,” Bates said.
The upperclassmen were not offered space on campus because there is no room available for them.
“We were able to find space for the upperclassmen in Phi Gamma Delta when it closed, but now no space is available,” Bates said. Many of the upperclassmen have arranged to move into apartments off campus.
Bates said that the Alumni chapter and the licensing board have been generous with the vacation date for the second house, allowing the upperclassmen until the end of the term to leave the second house. The leases of many of the upperclassmen do not begin until Dec. 1.
“Our main goal is to make sure that everyone finishes the semester and does well academically. Academics is the primary reason why everyone is here,” Bates said.
The alumni chapter has 10 days from the date which MIT withdrew recognition of their fraternity to appeal the decision and Carl K. King ‘65, the fraternity’s representative has indicated that they would do so.
The Interfraternity Council has not taken action on this issue, but passed investigation on to the deans’ panel.
“A house that is officially not recognized by MIT is no longer a part of the IFC,” said Vicki Lin ’01, IFC Public Relations Chair.
SAE fraternity members declined to comment on the recent actions when reached by phone.