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KS Avoids Sanctions

One Brother Blamed In Trashing of House

By Frank Dabek

Kappa Sigma emerged unscathed from their latest brush with the Cambridge Licensing Commission.

No disciplinary action was taken on charges stemming from a January 23 incident in which the first floor of the fraternity’s Memorial Drive house was trashed and a smoke detector activated. Commission members accepted KS’s explanation that a house member, acting alone, was responsible for the damage.

A campus police incident report presented by Campus Police Lieutenant Stephen Joiner at the CLC hearing on Tuesday night reported that upon arrival officers “discovered the entire first floor to be a complete catastrophe.” The report stated that “tables and chairs were knocked over, food thrown all over the floors and walls, and kitchen products and barrels were also all over the floors.”

A portable fire extinguisher was discharged in the house, activating smoke alarms.

Contradicting previous statements to The Tech, members of the fraternity testified that the condition of the first floor was a deliberate action to continue a lapsed house tradition of giving underclassmen additional work during the house’s annual work week.

Kappa Sig President Christopher J. Peikert ’00 reported that John G. Tilly ’00, acting as an individual, was responsible for the vandalism.

According to the incident report, Joseph W. Bingold ’01 told responding officers that Tilley was responsible for the condition of the house.

Bingold was the highest ranking fraternity officer at the house at the time but not an eyewitness to the event. The report says that he told officers that it was a tradition of the house that “seniors of the house would go around and make a mess for [underclassmen] to clean it up.”

According to the report, Bingold said, “Tilly ... decided to destroy the house on his own,”

Bingold told The Tech that his knowledge of the situation was second hand at the time he spoke to CPs. However, he said that Tilly made a full confession of his actions.

Both Bingold and Peikert said that, other than this incident, the work week tradition of vandalizing the house had not occurred during their time at MIT.

KS sanctioned Tilly by revoking his active status in the fraternity and asking him to move out of the house. He was also required to complete 50 hours of community service with the Cambridge Fire Department.

In addition, MIT required Tilly to complete a written and oral report about his experience.

Tilly refused to comment.

Richard Scali, executive director of the Commission, said that the commission members were “very happy that they [KS] took some action on their own.”

The Commission praised the house’s proactive work in punishing Tilly during the hearing.

Peikert said that he was pleased with the decision and credited the favorable outcome to the CLC’s recognition that the house dealt effectively with the situation by evicting Tilly.

While the house was not sanctioned, this incident will remain in the commission’s records and will come up again if KS faces the board in the future, Scali said.

KS has been before the CLC three times in the recent past. They will begin serving a 30-day suspension of their housing license this fall during rush. That suspension stemmed from the hospitalization of a partygoer who was drinking at KS.