IFC Designates Phi Delta Theta Alcohol-Free After ViolationsBy Dana Levine
In response to Phi Delta Theta’s violations of Boston regulations and the InterFraternity Council’s risk management policy, the IFC Judicial Committee has ruled that the fraternity must be alcohol free until November.
However, these sanctions will have little effect, as the national Phi Delta Theta fraternity became alcohol free on July 1, 2000.
On May 5th, a Boston University police officer observed two MIT students carrying cases of alcohol into the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house. When the officer asked them for identification, he discovered that one of the two students was under the age of 21.
The students surrendered all of their alcohol to the officer, who charged the underage student with underage possession of alcohol and the other with furnishing alcohol to a minor.
Although the typical procedure in such a situation would be for the officer to arrest the individuals, the two were extremely cooperative, causing the officer to simply issue them citations and summons to appear in court.
The two were tried in Roxbury district court and given a continuance without finding. Each was assigned 15 hours of community service.
“This was intended to be a slap on the wrist,” said Amir A. Mesarwi ’00, one of the students charged with the offense. They, along with several other brothers of Phi Delta Theta, served as volunteers at the Special Olympics, an event sponsored by the Boston University Police.
The court notified the MIT Campus Police of the incident, who in turn told the IFC.
According to Mesarwi, the alcohol was purchased for the consumption of several graduating seniors and alumni, all over the age of 21.
Phil Delta Theta had planned a registered BYOB party that night, but the alcohol was intended for a private gathering which was to occur before the start of that event. However, the IFC still charged the house with purchasing alcohol for an event, a violation of the BYOB policy.
The IFC ruled that the fraternity must be alcohol free until November 5, 2000, and that it may not hold events with alcohol until the beginning of the next IAP. Although by the national rules the fraternity would be dry during this time in any case, the penalties still bothered Mesarwi, who found them to be unnecesarily harsh. “The punishment should fit the crime,” he said. “This punishment was intended to appease the community and to look good before the public eye.”
According to Assistant Dean of Residence and Campus Activities Neal H. Dorow, this incident violated multiple regulations. Boston licensing board regulations prohibit kegs or large quantities of alcohol from entering a dormitory, so the infraction also violated BLB policy.
“Houses in Boston simply can’t be violating risk management regulations,” said Dorow.
The punishment levied by the IFC was significantly harsher than the minimum listed for a “first strike” offense in the IFC risk managment policy.“The IFC is really trying to let people know that these matters are serious,” Dorow said.
In recent months, the IFC has imposed several rather harsh penalties. These have come as a result of an agreement between the BLB and the IFC, under which the IFC will notify the BLB of any violations.
While Mesarwi agrees with imposing stricter penalties, he thinks that the IFC as a whole should decide whether to pass a new and harsher code for alcohol violations.
“The Executive Committee is making mountains out of molehills. I think that they are definitely out of touch with their member groups,” he said.