Kappa Sig To Face CLC Again
Fire Alarm Prompts Third AppearanceBy Frank Dabek and Mike Hall
Kappa Sigma will appear before the Cambridge Licensing Commission for the third time in two years tonight in response to a false fire alarm at its Memorial Drive house on January 23.
Campus Police and the Cambridge Fire Department reported that, upon entry, Kappa Sig’s first floor was found “destroyed with food, furniture thrown about, and [a] cloud of flour smoke” that triggered the alarm.
Executive Director of the CLC Richard V. Scali characterized the Kappa Sig incident as an “underclassman prank” and said that the board regards such fire safety violations as serious issues.
“It’s the same ones over and over,” Scali said. “A few [fraternities] make the rest look bad.”
Action by the CLC occurs in two stages. The CLC hears evidence on Tuesday, then votes on Thursday regarding possible action. Scali said that the Commission probably will recommend “progressive action,” possibly including an increased suspension and a revoked license.
Kappa Sig blames clutter on IAP
Christopher J. Peikert ’00, Kappa Sig president, said that a fire extinguisher was pulled, causing the alarm when some material from the fire extinguisher accidentally entered the smoke detector. Peikert would not comment on why the extinguisher was fired.
Kappa Sig Vice President Cameron A. Wheeler ’02 said that the brothers did not intentionally create the mess, which was discovered around the traditional beginning of work week at most MIT fraternities.
“Usually, we have scheduled cleanups, but we don’t have that during IAP,” said Wheeler. “It’s basically a dirty house because of neglect.”
Wheeler also criticized the Commission for giving Kappa Sig “the short end of the stick on lots of these issues.”
“To tell you the truth, it seems like fairness isn’t the game when dealing with the Licensing Commission,” Wheeler said.
Peikert and at least one other house officer will attend tomorrow night’s hearing.
Incident compounds old problems
Kappa Sig’s newest troubles come just three weeks after the CLC handed down a 30-day suspension after a guest was hospitalized after becoming intoxicated at a house party.
The Commission was aware of the most recent incident at the time of Kappa Sig’s last appearance before the board but it did not factor it into their decision to suspend the fraternity’s housing license for thirty days including rush, Scali said.
At that last meeting, the Commission nearly revoked Kappa Sig’s license. The Commission cited, among other factors, the fraternity’s history of violations in considering revocation. An eleventh-hour proposal by the fraternity convinced the board to suspend rather than revoke the license.
Sarah E. Gallop, co-director of MIT’s office of government relations, said that the newest Kappa Sig incident is serious “because it involves a fire alarm.” Gallop, who acts as a liaison between fraternities and the Commission in these matters, noted that the deputy fire chief sits on the Commission making “fire safety concerns ... paramount for the Commission.”
Theta Delta Chi was also scheduled to appear before the Commission this evening to respond to Cambridge Fire’s discovery of a fire alarm that was disconnected, then reconnected illegally. The hearing was postponed to April 11, though, because TDC’s attorney is unable to attend tonight. This will be TDC’s second appearance before the Commission.