CLC Orders Next House To Be Dry
Third East Also Goes on Probation for Six Months after IncidentBy Matthew Palmer
In response to an October alcohol violation, the Cambridge License Commission placed Next House’s Third East wing on probation for six months and said that the entire dorm must remain dry for three months.
“Individuals have to be responsible for their actions,” CLC Chairman Benjamin C. Barnes said at the hearing in December.
If any alcohol incident is reported during Third East’s probation, even if it’s not as severe as the one that caused the sanctions, the Third East residents will be evicted for ten days. The punishment comes after a Halloween party alcohol incident on the floor in which an underage female student who was not a resident of the dorm ended up needing medical attention by the end of the night.
In addition, all of Next House will be affected by the three-month alcohol-free period. Except for the housemasters and Graduate Resident Tutors, no one is allowed to have an alcoholic drink -- not even residents who are of legal drinking age.
Overall, Next House Housemaster Borivoje Mikic agreed with the decision. “Essentially, the CLC had to deal with the situation at hand, including the fact that there was another incident,” he said. The other incident occurred on June 24 and also concerned the transport of an intoxicated underage female to the ed Center.
Barnes said the fact that this was the second incident at Next House over a six month period contributed to the strict decision.
“I want to thank you for your patience and understanding,” Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict said at the hearing. He called the decision “a very reasonable response.”
“The sanctions could have been a lot worse,” Undergraduate Association President Peter A. Shulman ’01 said. “No one got kicked out.”
But “it’s inappropriate that students not involved in the incident are sanctioned,” Shulman said. “It’s not building community.” At the end of the six-month probation, MIT is required to report back to the CLC on how it has implemented community building and alcohol education at Next House.
Barnes said at the hearing that he wished that the individuals responsible for serving the underage female had come forward so the whole wing would not be in jeopardy.”
Seeking help aided Next’s case
“The fact that medical attention was called is a huge plus,” Barnes said. It persuaded the CLC to reduce the period the dorm is required to be dry from six to three months..
“I think our students are mature enough” to call for help in an emergency, Mikic said.
“I was thrilled that the CLC recognized the importance of calling for help when help is needed,” Shulman said.
Still, CLC member Kevin Fitzgerald Jr. raised the concern that the students involved in the Next House and other incidents have hesitated to call for help because they feared the repercussions of underage drinking.
“I think there’s good evidence [students] will” be concerned when they call an ambulance, Shulman said.
At the meeting, Barnes also addressed the allegation that the CLC has only focused on MIT for punishment. “It’s not accurate that the licensing commission singles out MIT,” he said. He added that the CLC has punished other colleges’ residences, sometimes even going to court to do so.
Cambridgeport Saloon sanctioned
At the same meeting, the CLC suspended the Cambridgeport Saloon for a total of 20 days for serving alcohol to intoxicated people after a shooting outside the bar on Nov. 11. The CLC also reduced the bar’s hours for the next six months.
The bar may choose to be closed for any 20 days during the six months after the hearing.