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EDITORIAL

A Tenuous Compromise

The suspension of Kappa Sigma and Alpha Tau Omega during fall rush has put MIT in a difficult logistical situation. While the Institute has admirably agreed to provide housing for the displaced fraternity members, the proposed solution places an undue burden on a handful of dormitories.

Rather than concentrating Kappa Sig and ATO members in four dormitories as the Interfraternity Council and Dormitory Council suggested in a compromise solution this week, those students should be distributed throughout the dormitory system.

The benefits of housing the fraternity members in a small number of dormitories -- mainly easing policing for rush violations -- do not outweigh the negative impact this decision will have on these dormitories. The presence of fraternity members will likely negatively affect those dormitories’ own rush efforts by displacing freshmen who would have been housed temporarily there and by altering the apparent character of the living groups.

Administrators and student leaders assure us that fraternity members will use the dorms only as a place to sleep. If this is the case, there is no overriding reason to concentrate the displaced students in a small subset of the dormitories.

The Tech applauds Dormcon and IFC leaders for working together to reach a agreement. IFC Rush Chair Dakus S. Gunn ’01, a Kappa Sig brother, deserves special praise for striving to maintain impartiality despite his inherent conflict of interest.

However, serious questions have arisen regarding these negotiations. Bexley House and New House, two of the dormitories affected by the decision, had little input into the decision-making process. While the leaders of these two dormitories should have made a greater effort to involve themselves in the negotiations, Gunn and Dormcon Vice President Matthew S. Cain ’02 should have been wary of the appearance of injustice created by placing the heaviest burden on the groups least well represented.

As the IFC and Dormcon continue to consider this difficult situation, The Tech hopes that they reconsider this initial decision which will inconvenience several groups unduly.