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Next House Faces CLC Over June Infraction

By Mike Hall


As the result of an alcohol violation earlier this summer, Next House will face a Cambridge License Commission disciplinary hearing on Sept. 5.

The violation occurred on Saturday, June 24 at 3:00 a.m., when guests at a Next room party called the Campus Police for medical aid.

According to a CP incident report, officers found the guests attending to an intoxicated, underage female lying on the floor. The girl was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, and CPs issued her an alcohol citation.

An internal Institute memo, obtained from the CLC, indicated that the female had been drinking heavily at an apartment party earlier that evening. The female consumed only three drinks while at Next, according to a witness cited in the CP report.

CLC Executive Officer Richard V. Scali noted that Next was unlikely to lose its license. “This is a first offense for Next House,” Scali said. “In most situations, it's usually a warning.”

“All people [at the party] were over 21 except for this woman. ... if everyone was of age, [the hosts] might have assumed she was of age,” Scali added.

If CLC does impose a sanction, though, Scali said that it “would be against the dorm” and not the female.

MIT is also considering its own sanctions against Next and the individuals involved, said Carol Orme-Johnson, assistant dean of student life programs. Next Housemaster Borivoje Mikic said that the dean’s office will meet with tutors and house officers on Monday.

MIT questions hearing’s necessity

While believing that Next’s license is not in jeopardy, MIT administrators wonder why the incident will be brought before the CLC.

“If it were up to me, I wouldn’t think this was a very serious incident,” Orme-Johnson said. She speculated that the CLC called the hearing because of its low tolerance for student alcohol abuse.

“Both the CLC and the Boston Licensing Board have taken a very strong stand on alcohol in college residences,” she said, adding that the hearing “is consistent with [CLC’s] view that any alcohol incident is serious.”

“The reason that this incident would even be looked at by the CLC is if there was a violation of law within a licensed facility,” said Sarah E. Gallop, co-director of the Office of Government and Community Relations. “Where [the female] was drinking is what the CLC is interested in.”

“There aren’t conclusive facts to indicate where she was drinking,” Gallop added. “I wanted to make sure that the CLC knew that going into it [the hearing].”

Like Orme-Johnson, Gallop said that she presumed the CLC called the hearing to bring attention to underage drinking in college residences. The CLC is “absolutely committed to curb underage drinking,” she said. “It is their number one priority.”