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PBE to Face License Commission After Male, 17, Found Intoxicated

By Jennifer Krishnan


MIT’s chapter of Phi Beta Epsilon will appear before the Cambridge License Commission April 23, following an incident in which an underage male high school student was found intoxicated at the house in February.

The fraternity has voluntarily banned alcohol in the house for the remainder of the spring term. The decision to forbid the presence of alcohol in the house was made voluntarily by PBE’s executive board, Interfraternity Council President Andrew T. Yue ’03 wrote in an e-mail to the executive officer of the CLC.

The IFC will not impose any sanctions beyond those put in place by the fraternity.

Underage male found intoxicated

MIT Campus Police officers found Bobby Lee, a 17-year-old from Dorchester, Mass., “vomiting from the rear passenger seat” of a car on Endicott Street, near PBE, at 1:30 a.m. on February 24, according to the report filed by Officer Mark R. Kelleher.

“Mr. Lee appeared intoxicated and informed me that he had [had] four to five shots of Bacardi rum,” Kelleher wrote. Lee and his companion, William Jim, then indicated that they had been staying at 400 Memorial Drive, the PBE house.

Lee was subsequently transported to Mt. Auburn Hospital, where he stayed overnight.

Kelleher reported that “there were no signs of alcohol or party going [on]” at the fraternity house that night.

The Interfraternity Council’s investigation of the incident found that “several fraternity members had ... brought some personal alcohol down from their rooms to a common area.”

“The member who was [a friend of] the intoxicated individual did not responsibly watch over his guest, and the guest obtained unsupervised alcohol and became intoxicated,” Yue wrote in an e-mail to the executive officer of the CLC.

“Some of the older brothers had just been drinking and hanging out, and they just left their alcohol out,” said PBE President Jae K. Ro ’02. “The high school student was left unsupervised, and he got a hold of the alcohol.”

PBE voluntarily goes dry

PBE will disallow alcohol in their house for the remainder of the term. “No alcohol is to be consumed on house premises nor is alcohol to be present inside the house at any time” until May 25, Ro wrote in an e-mail to administrators in early March.

“The very next day, we decided ... to take steps to make sure something like this would not happen again,” Ro said.

Members of the fraternity will also complete several training sessions and seminars before allowing alcohol in the house again. PBE has also imposed several sanctions on “the individual who failed in his responsibility to take care of his guest,” Ro said.

The IFC investigation determined that the incident “was a result of a sole individual’s irresponsible actions,” Yue wrote. “The individual violated [his] own fraternity rules as well as IFC rules.”

Because “this was not a house sponsored activity” and PBE “took swift precautionary education measures,” the IFC did not impose any additional sanctions on the fraternity, Yue said.

The CLC could decide to “cancel, suspend, revoke, or further condition” PBE’s lodging license, said CLC Executive Officer Richard V. Scali. He added that in the past two years, PBE has had “two violations,” one over a water fight which resulted in the fire alarm going off, and another over renovations being done without proper permits.

Ro said he hoped the CLC would understand their case and not levy any heavy sanctions.

“I think that we’ve tried to take the right steps,” Ro said. “Hopefully the CLC will see that ... we’re trying to do the right thing.”

The CLC has no records of past alcohol violations from PBE.