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PKS Brothers Fined, Avoid Charges

By Matthew F. Palmer

In a closed hearing Friday in Cambridge District Court, a magistrate ordered three Phi Kappa Sigma brothers to pay $1,306.42 in restitution and perform eight hours of community service each in connection with an accidental explosion that occurred outside 10-250 in October.

Under the agreement, no misdemeanor charges will be filed against PKS brothers Aaron A. Griswold ’03, Robert H. Lee ’02, and Ripal B. Nathuji ’02 if they make the restitution and do not commit any further offenses. A similar complaint against a PKS alumnus was dismissed.

Middlesex County Assistant Clerk Magistrate Robert Pacheco continued the complaints of illegal possession and use of fireworks and disturbing the peace without a finding until September 1, 2000.

PKS gives $14K to leukemia fund

Thursday, members of PKS donated $14,267 to the Leukemia Society of America, the charity which would have benefitted from their canceled “Skuffle” party and haunted house. The money was raised at a rally in support of the fraternity on the steps of 77 Massachusetts Avenue on October 31.

“We are grateful to the members of Phi Kappa Sigma for their commitment to the Leukemia Society,” said Iris Gleason, the Massachusetts chapter’s executive director, in a printed report. “As a fraternity, they have traditionally recognized the importance of our mission. We appreciate that.”

“We wanted to make sure something good came out of this,” said PKS President Lanny R. Chiu ’00.

Brothers will abide by agreement

Chiu said the brothers planned to make the restitution. It was his understanding that if they did, “everything would be okay,” Chiu said.

“We will follow through,” Lee said. Lee expects the request for charges against them to be dropped.

In light of the events following the explosion, Chiu said that “Other fraternities should be careful.”

The hearing was a result of the October 26 incident when the theatrical device Lee was carrying to advertise PKS’s Halloween party “Skuffle” accidentally exploded, sending him to the hospital. Two other PKS brothers, Griswold and Nathuji, also suffered minor injures as the three prepared to interrupt a lecture in Room 10-250. Campus Police closed Building 10 for most of the day as the Cambridge Bomb Squad and Fire Department investigated.

Boston’s Inspectional Services Department closed PKS’s house for building code violations, forcing the cancellation of Skuffle. Fear of similar sanctions from the inspectors led all fraternities to cancel their parties over Halloween weekend.