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Six Dorms To House KS, ATO Over Rush

By Laura McGrath Moulton


Members of the Kappa Sigma and Alpha Tau Omega fraternities will now be housed in six dormitories during rush, rather than the four originally announced.

MacGregor, New House, and Next House will each house six ATO brothers, and Bexley will house the remaining seventeen brothers. Kappa Sig will split its members between Baker House and Burton-Conner, according to Matthew S. Cain ’02, vice president of Dormitory Council.

The decision to house the fraternity members in dorms came after alcohol violations led the Cambridge Licensing Commission to exile Kappa Sig and ATO from their houses during rush. They will, however, still be allowed to to rush incoming freshmen.

New House’s burden lightened

The original plan divided ATO brothers between Bexley and New House, but it was altered at the request of New House. “We had originally thought the housemaster of New House was comfortable with the situation, but he wasn’t,” said Cain.

In an e-mail to The Tech, New House Housemasters John M. and Ellen Essigmann said, “[We] were put in a difficult and awkward position because we had to put the brakes on a process that was not, in our view, in the best interest of our living group.”

“The original plan we saw had the fraternity men concentrated in a few residence halls ... A large cadre of fraternity brothers would not contribute to a good rush” for dorms, said Essigmann. The Essigmanns also felt that consequences for violation of this living agreement by fraternities had not been well articulated.

In addition, “the offer mentioned in the last Tech article to provide funds or some other perk to offset this situation was vague, indirect and therefore unacceptable. We could not figure out what was being offered and by whom,” they said.

The Essigmanns are more comfortable with the new plan for housing the fraternity members. However, they said they would have preferred to see MIT’s other fraternities house the brothers, in order to minimize “culture clash” between fraternities and dorms.

Cain indicated that Bexley residents had not requested a similar reduction of their share of ATO brothers. He said that no brothers would be housed in either Senior House or East Campus “because of logistical reasons,” including the distance between those dorms and the West Campus dormitories.

“This configuration is final,” Cain said. “Nobody on either side wants for this to happen, but people are willing to go along with it since it’s such a short time.”

KS, ATO will rush out of hotels

Members of KS and ATO will use their dormitory rooms only to sleep and shower, conducting all rush activities out of hotel suites. At a presentation of their preliminary rush proposal before the Interfraternity Council’s meeting of rush chairs, KS and ATO rush chairs said that they would locate their desks at the houses and offer brief house tours to freshmen, but they will conduct all other rush events from hotel suites.

“It’s pretty much just sleeping at the dorms,” said KS Rush Chair Kevin T. Weston ’03.

ATO has rented ten rooms with twenty beds in the Royal Sonesta, and KS has rented out the same capacity at University Park Hotel. Each fraternity will keep two or three brothers in the hotel each night.

Each fraternity has also rented vans to shuttle freshmen from the hotels to the desks at the houses and back to campus. Members of other fraternities who wish to see freshman at ATO or KS will report to the desks at the houses, and ATO and KS will then shuttle freshmen there. Both rush chairs cited courtesy to the hotels hosting them as the reason for this arrangement.

“The hotels don’t want the commotion of desks or campers,” Weston said.

ATO Rush Chair Ken A. Takase ’01 added, “If we get in trouble at the hotel, we’re pretty much out of rush, and we don’t want to do anything to risk that.”

Rules at dormitories

While at the dormitories, members of the fraternities will be subject to a number of rules designed to minimize the impact on dormitory rush.

IFC President Damien A. Brosnan ’01 said at the meeting that fraternity members would be confined to an all-upperclassmen section of each dormitory, and that they would be prohibited from speaking with freshmen while in the dormitories.

According to an e-mail sent by Cain, fraternity members will not be allowed to display fraternity insignia while in the dormitories. They will be allowed in the dormitories only from midnight until 8 a.m. and for one additional hour each day. Fraternity members will be held responsible for the condition of the areas they inhabit and can be evicted by JudComm with two hours notice.

Brosnan said that JudComm members would be visiting the fraternities at the hotels and at the dormitories, assuring that members enter and exit the dormitories at the correct times.

“We’ll rely on complaints. If people have a problem, their job is to give IFC and DormCon a call and we’ll go take care of it,” said Cain.