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Theta Delta Chi May Lose License After July Rooftop Party Incident

By Chen Zhao

The Cambridge License Commission met with Theta Delta Chi on Tuesday in response to an alcohol-related incident that occurred at the fraternity house this summer.

The MIT police said at the hearing that members of TDC, during a July 15 rooftop party at the house, threw beer cans and plates off of the roof and struck a car. One fraternity member has been banned from the house as a result of the incident.

Benjamin C. Barnes, chairman of the CLC Board said he was “really thinking about pulling [the] license” to the TDC house at the Tuesday hearing.

The CLC will meet again to decide what punishment, if any, to impose on TDC. It was unclear at the hearing whether another would be scheduled to hear further testimony.

David N. Rogers, assistant dean and director of fraternities, sororities and independent living groups, said that the Interfraternity Council plans to have a hearing soon.

To date, the IFC has refused to comment on the matter.

Rooftop party ends in conflict

Daniel M. Halperin ’04, current president of TDC, said the July 15 party was a social event involving current members and alumni after a softball game.

Three MIT police officers who responded to the 10:30 p.m. complaint testified at the hearing. Patrol Officer Robert G. Wilcox said he was almost struck by a beer can as he and Patrol Officer Richard M. Sullivan ascended a fire escape to reach the roof of the house. Patrol Officer Jamie G. DiGregorio said several of the party attendees were “very belligerent.”

The officers named James P. Wagner ’04 and an unidentified alumnus as the two most aggressive of the group. Wilcox said Wagner and the alumnus were intoxicated. Wilcox added that students informed the officers that they were trespassing on the fraternity’s property.

Wilcox, Sullivan, and DiGregorio said that a ceramic plate thrown from the TDC roof scratched and dented a car parked on a side street. The officers said they saw plates of the same kind on the roof at the party. TDC denied the officers’ allegations.

Presley H. Cannady ’02, who is not a member of TDC, claimed responsibility at the hearing for bringing a case of beer to the party. Later, Cannady testified that there was alcohol at the party before he got there and that “pretty much all of us had been drinking.”

The police mentioned Cannady as the one cooperative person at the scene as he spoke to the car’s owner to try to resolve the situation.

Cannady said that the officers “showed remarkable restraint” as the partygoers were “basically cussing in their face.”

Measures taken against TDC

Halperin said at the hearing that TDC required Wagner to undergo alcohol counseling, perform community service, and put together a dry event for the fraternity to educate the other members about the dangers of alcoholism.

Dan E. Geer ’72, president of the TDC house corporation, said at the hearing that the alumni are “doggedly dedicated to the idea of personal responsibility.” Geer said the alumni have “had it,” and monitoring of the house from now on “will be invasive.”

Geer said that Wagner had been banned from TDC. Halperin said he was unaware of this decision before the hearing.

Barnes said that Wagner “should have been arrested” that night and that “he should be sitting in front of a judge” now.

The house corporation added that they required TDC members to sign a list of rules that included regulations for alcohol in the house. The brothers signed these bylaws in the presence of the alumni.

Despite the penalties, MIT allowed TDC to hold rooftop parties during Rush. Barnes said that he “did not care about the sanctity of Rush.”

Rogers said the house was allowed to host parties because Rush parties are usually small and dry. TDC hosted a roof party on Saturday night during the beginning of Rush. A police officer supervised the event.