Class of 2000 President Settles Party Charges
Malicious Damage, Trespassing, Alcohol Charges Stemmed from Post-Graduation BashBy Jon Sheffi
Charges brought by the MIT Campus Police against Class of 2000 President Hugo B. Barra after a post-commencement party will not be pursued following an agreement reached yesterday morning.
Barra, who was charged with procuring alcohol for a minor, wanton and malicious damage, disturbing the peace, and two counts of trespassing by motor vehicle, will pay $500 to the MIT Athletic Association to offset damage done to the athletic fields during the party, according to MIT spokesperson Robert J. Sales. The agreement was reached at a clerk-magistrate’s hearing at the Cambridge District Court.
According to a Campus Police incident report, Barra provided alcohol for a party which took place on Briggs Field after midnight following graduation. Over 200 students attended the party where alcohol was served from the back of a van and station wagon, the report states. The trespassing charges and reparation to MIT stem from damages done to the field by those vehicles.
Barra said that “the matter has been resolved in a fair manner. ... I acted to the best of my efforts as senior class president.”
Barra faces Institute sanctions
While the charges against Barra in Cambridge District Court have been resolved, Carol Orme-Johnson, an assistant dean and the dean on call that night, filed a complaint against Barra on behalf of the Dean’s Office. That complaint has not yet been considered pending the resolution of the criminal charges against Barra.
Interim Dean of Student Life Kirk D. Kolenbrander said that he will meet with Chief of Campus Police Anne Glavin to determine how the Dean’s office complaint should be handled.
Barra was unaware of the details of Institute disciplinary action against him but said that he will be in “full cooperation.”
According to Orme-Johnson, it is common for students to elect to see their criminal charges handled within the MIT disciplinary system rather than in the courts. Along with the lack of a criminal record, Institute “procedures are often swifter and the penalties imposed appear more significant to the victim.”
CPs broke up party
According to a Campus Police incident report, officers responded to a complaint of a large party on Briggs Field at 1:24 a.m on the morning of June third. Officers discovered approximately 200 students, a white van filled with champagne and beer, and a gray station wagon with a tub of ice inside on the field, the report stated.
A student present at the party said that arriving officers directed students away from the vehicles while other students left the scene.
Barra, who was attempting to start one of the vehicles and drive away, was detained by Campus Police officers, the report stated.
Another partygoer, Andrew I. Nevins ’00, attempted to flee the scene but was apprehended by Campus Police, taken into custody and subsequently released. According to attendees and the report, Nevins became quite agitated and taunted officers. Nevins could not be reached for comment.
No students were arrested at the party, but some were issued citations for underage drinking, according to Orme-Johnson.
Orme-Johnson came to campus to speak to the organizers of the party whom she said included Barra and Class of 2000 vice-president Sean C. Fabre ’00.
Barra denied organizing the party but said he took responsibility for the party in his capacity as class president. Barra did, however, appear to allude to the party in the closing of his commencement speech when he closed with “and see you tonight.”
According to a Baker resident who attended the party, after the crowd on the field dispersed, one student encouraged the remaining partygoers to go to Baker to continue the party there. Orme-Johnson entered Baker with two officers and checked the rooftop to make sure that there was no party there.
Barra refused to comment on the events of the morning of the third, deferring instead to the Campus Police report.
Frank Dabek contributed to the reporting of this article.