MIT May Discipline Students for TheftsBy Helana Kadyszewski
MIT administration is deciding whether it should take disciplinary action in a case of out-of-state street sign theft allegedly perpetrated by four members of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
Four MIT students were issued criminal citations this past Columbus Day weekend, following the apprehension of the truck they were driving by Brandon, Vermont State Police.
Joseph P. Carlucci ’05, Eric A. Dominguez ’04, Peter S. Jaglom ’05, and Nicholas J. Fahey ’05 were intercepted after a passerby notified police of a sign reading “Welcome to the Town of Plymouth” in the back of the truck.
According to The Boston Globe, police found an estimated 27 road signs in the truck. The signs were snatched from state highways and the Killington and Okemo ski areas. According to the police, the four students were in Brandon over the weekend for a party.
The four alleged thieves are all members of MIT’s Beta Nu chapter of DTD. As reported in the Globe, the police had initially speculated that the thefts had occurred as part of a fraternity initiation stunt.
“We’re all taking this very seriously, as we expect MIT will. But this was the act of a few individuals, not a reflection of our fraternity. We will cooperate in bringing the matter to a satisfactory conclusion,” said John C. Rondoni ’02, president of DTD.
Rondoni was reluctant to release any details about the incident but did say that the four students have a court date set for January. He also asserted, contrary to the report that appeared in the Globe, that the thefts were “absolutely not associated with any formal or informal DTD initiation event.”
Administration may take action
When reached for comment on Monday morning, both Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict and David N. Rogers, the Assistant Dean and Director for Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups, had only just been informed of the incident.
“As yet, we do not have all of the facts, but we are taking this very seriously,” Rogers said. Benedict said that “We do not want to jump to any conclusions until we have the story straight.”
Because the crime happened off-campus and yet was allegedly committed by MIT students, the incident forecasts mixed possibilities for further disciplinary action. “We expect all of MIT’s students to maintain high standards in the public eye, both on and off campus,” Rogers said. “Fraternity members are no exception ... Right now, though, we cannot speculate on what kinds of punishments, if any, MIT will enforce.”
According to Carol Orme-Johnson, MIT’s Assistant Dean of the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, MIT may or may not decide to take jurisdiction in this situations. Typically, the decision is based upon the severity of the incident and how it affects MIT. “Any incident that is connected to an organized MIT group or activity is within the realm of MIT jurisdiction,” said Orme-Johnson. “Whenever MIT students are involved, MIT reserves the right to investigate and enforce additional disciplinary action.”
When asked to comment, ATO house president George S. Gluck ’02 said, “It is unfortunate that both Delta Tau Delta and MIT are receiving this publicity as a result of the actions of just four individuals.” Gluck maintains, along with Rogers, that MIT fraternities always seem to be under the spotlight.
“This happens to us all the time. It seems as though the press is only interested in the negatives.” Gluck then went on to point out that the FSILGs give back a great deal to MIT, Cambridge and Boston.
Rondoni and DTD are currently cooperating with investigations by Benedict, Rogers and Orme-Johnson.