Appropriate Solution, Progress is Promising
By Jordan Rubin
The editorial board was correct in stating that Friday’s incident at 405 Memorial Drive provided a terrible start to Spring Weekend. However, this author does not believe that the sanctions against Alpha Tau Omega are destructive. Rather, ATO has taken the right step in aiming to improve the MIT community as a response to the altercation.
ATO, as an organization, has shown a great deal of responsibility since the confrontation. The fraternity has not attempted to evade all blame for the event. In suspending two of its members, ATO made a difficult decision. By offering to sponsor a symposium on cultural awareness, the brothers of ATO clearly show their willingness to put this unfortunate situation in the past. They have committed to work to prevent such altercations from recurring.
This writer does not believe that a member of The Roots and an affiliate are free of blame. However, members of ATO are also members of the MIT community, and as such we, as members of the MIT community, should have expected them to respond. Our main concern as we proceed should be that the community is able to build from this episode.
ATO, in conjunction with minority leaders, student government officials, administrators, and the campus police, have crafted a plan to help MIT move beyond the incident. There are still details that need to be ironed out. However, labeling the preliminary description of the steps that ATO and campus officials have taken as “ill-defined” is not justified. This author believes that the individuals involved in crafting the plan will put a good faith effort towards moving forward from the incident.
In this situation, conflict resolution is working. ATO has proposed measures to improve the campus community. A healthy dialogue between a diverse group of leaders on campus has ensued. For these reasons, the Cambridge License Commission should not look to add punitive measures of its own. The MIT community will be best served if campus leaders are working together. Actions taken by the CLC can only create obstacles to the healing that the campus needs and add confusion as the campus community tries to move forward.