CLC Makes PBE Go Dry For Month of SeptemberBy Jennifer Krishnan
MIT’s chapter of the Phi Beta Epsilon fraternity will be alcohol-free from Aug. 30 to Sept. 30, as ordered by the Cambridge License Commission.
Any violation of this “dry” period or any other license-related violation will result in an automatic suspension of the fraternity’s lodging license for the same time period, said CLC Executive Officer Richard V. Scali.
Scali said the CLC would be monitoring the house “with spot inspections ... to make sure that that there is no alcohol on the premises” during the one-month dry period.
PBE President Jae K. Ro ’02 said the decision was “pretty fair. ... It sent the right message,” he said.
“I thought [the decision] was fair,” said David N. Rogers, assistant dean and director of fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.
Ro said he was not worried about staying dry during September because “alcohol is not a big part of our rush” and “we’ve been dry for the past two months, so it won’t be anything we’re not used to.”
CLC criticizes policy on guests
PBE appeared at a hearing before the CLC last month after MIT Police found an intoxicated 17-year-old near the house.
Ro said that Bobby Lee, 17, and his companion, 18-year-old William Jim, had apparently “[gotten] a hold of the unattended alcohol” that several members of the fraternity had left in a kitchen area.
CLC member Henry W. Breen criticized Ro for “[taking] a laissez-faire attitude” to the presence of a 17-year-old guest in the house.
Ro said that he had not been aware that Lee was in the house. Lee and Jim, he said, were guests of Michael Ho ’04, and members of the fraternity are responsible for their own guests.
CLC Chairman Benjamin C. Barnes hinted that perhaps fraternities should not allow 17-year-olds on their premises at all.
Barnes “probably doesn’t understand the issues around high schoolers coming to visit,” said PBE Risk Manager David R. Schannon ’04. “There’s no problem with [high school students] just coming over ... we just need to pay more attention” when they do.
Rogers noted that some freshmen are only 17 years old. However, “I think that all the [fraternity] chapters need to be careful of who they invite over as guests, particularly if there’s alcohol somewhere in the house,” he said.
Intoxicated guest draws sanctions
MIT Police Officer Mark R. Kelleher said at the hearing that he had found Lee, of Dorchester, Mass., “vomiting from the rear passenger seat” of a vehicle near PBE.
Kelleher said Lee had indicated that he was staying at PBE and that he had consumed several shots of Bacardi rum.
Ro said several seniors had “brought down some of their personal alcohol to a little kitchen area” to celebrate their upcoming graduation, and had left the alcohol unattended.
“We left the alcohol in the kitchen for cleanliness sake,” said Dharmesh M. Mehta ’00, an alumnus of the chapter.
Mehta said that PBE has since instituted a new policy that alcohol “shouldn’t be left in the open.”