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IFC JudComm: DKE Exiled for One Year

By Beckett W. Sterner

NEWS EDITOR

The Interfraternity Council Judiciary Committee has decided to suspend the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity from its house for one year following an unregistered party on Aug. 23.

The suspension would force DKE to move out of its house from this Thursday until Oct. 23, 2004, and would also include “revoking social events, chapter housing privileges, recruitment (rush) and new member intake programs (pledges),” according to the decision letter sent to DKE.

DKE Vice President Spencer M. Cross ’05 and Tom Kilpatrick ’05, media liaison for DKE, declined to comment on the details of the case.

DKE has until Thursday to appeal the decision, the letter says. An appeal would automatically forestall the suspension until it is decided by a JudComm appeals committee of three members who were not a part of the original hearing.

The IFC JudComm bylaws say that a fraternity may appeal a decision based on new evidence being available, an incorrect handling of procedure during the hearing, or the severity of the decision.

The IFC does not make its decision letters public, but a copy was obtained by The Tech and confirmed as authentic by JudComm Chair David B. Gottlieb G. (Please see page 23.)

Decision has several components

As part of the decision, the IFC requires that “the leadership of the organization must begin to meet weekly with the staff in the FSILG office” in order to “effect positive change in the organization’s culture.”

Also as part of the suspension, DKE would not be able to hold rush within the IFC system next year.

David N. Rogers, assistant dean of fraternities, sororities and independent living groups, said that “the intention of a sanction is not to destroy rush.” Instead, “it’s to change behavior.”

Without new members next year, DKE could drop below twenty brothers as it received only one pledge last year, although according to the DKE Web site, the fraternity received nine pledges during Rush this year.

Gottlieb said that the JudComm review board “believes DKE can come back” from the suspension, and that the decision was “not reached lightly at all.”

He also said that MIT had assured them that it would provide campus housing for the fraternity if necessary.

Associate Dean of Student Discipline Steven J. Tyrell said that “it has been the practice of MIT ... that they’ve tried to provide housing for the students” during suspensions.

Alcohol banned during Orientation

The party on Aug. 23 was an unregistered sports mixer for members of varsity teams, according to the decision letter. The letter also said that procedures required by IFC regulations for registered parties were not followed, such as wrist bands for underage guests.

In the initial call to the MIT Police, “the reporting party states that there is an unauthorized freshmen event at DKE,” according to the MIT Police log.

Deputy Chief of MIT Police John E. Driscoll said that the police could not comment further, and that they were unable to publicly distribute the report by the responding officer, Sergeant Gerald P. Doyle.

Rogers said that fraternities are banned by MIT from having alcohol during freshman Orientation, which began on Aug. 22 and ended Aug. 29.

Justin M. Nelson ’04 said that he arrived at the party about 30 minutes before the MIT Police arrived. He said the party was “pretty low key,” and that “by the time I had got there it was pretty late and they were out of beer.”

Ashleigh V. Leonard ’07 said that there was no strict monitoring system for the alcohol and that it was “just around.”

Petition being circulated

Nelson, president of Burton-Conner, said in an e-mail to the Burton-Conner discussion mailing list that “DKE is circulating a petition” to raise support for the fraternity. (Please see page 23.)

The petition says that the punishment is unreasonable and that a full year of suspension would have strongly negative effects on both the MIT community and the fraternity.

Tyrell, who was a procedural officer for the hearing, said that the decision process was “not going to be considering public opinion.”

The IFC’s judicial process is separate from the Cambridge License Commission, the city agency that licenses fraternities and dormitories.

“The CLC, which is looking at the same issue from a different lens” would have to make its own decision, Tyrell said.