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Housing Alternatives For DKE Considered

By Marissa Vogt


Several administrators are meeting this morning to discuss possible housing alternatives for members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

The meeting comes after DKE’s appeal to the Interfraternity Council Judiciary Committee last Thursday. DKE was suspended two weeks ago, forcing the fraternity out of its house and prohibiting social events and participation in next year’s Rush.

Director of Housing Karen A. Nilsson said the meeting will include Associate Dean for Student Life Programs Barbara A. Baker, Assistant Director for Undergraduate Housing Denise A. Vallay, and Associate Dean of Student Discipline Steven J. Tyrell.

“Now that they have appealed and a decision has apparently come out, we can develop a process” for handling the situation, Nilsson said. “There are so many factors and housing is only one of them. We haven’t had a situation like this in a very long time.”

Tyrell, IFC Judcomm Chair David B. Gottlieb G, DKE Media Liason Tom Kilpatrick ’05, and several members of DKE declined to comment on the outcome of the appeal.

Tyrell said that he served as an “Institute observer” at the appeal, as mandated by the IFC Judcomm rules, and had no role in the decision-making process. He said that DKE has the IFC Judcomm’s decision, but when asked to confirm that DKE lost last week’s appeal, said there will be a “group that will be meeting to look at where the members will live” and spoke of a “roll-out plan for moving out of the house.”

MIT DKE Alumni President Douglas E. Vincent ’89 said to “make your own inferences” when asked to confirm that DKE lost the appeal.

Kilpatrick also refused to comment on what grounds DKE appealed the decision. IFC Judcomm rules say that a fraternity may appeal a decision based on new evidence, improper procedure during the hearing, or the severity of the decision.

Future home of DKE uncertain

Among the possible on-campus locations that DKE brothers might be able to inhabit are Senior House and East Campus. Senior House President Daniel E. McAnulty ’04 said that there are currently five empty spaces in Senior House, and East Campus Vice President Emily E. Cofer ’04 said there are currently ten empty spaces in East Campus.

“If [DKE brothers] actually transfer into the house, the way house rooming policy is, they’ll be able to, if they want to, control a certain area of the house,” McAnulty said. That “would allow them to maintain a certain collectiveness for themselves,” he said.

Vincent said that DKE lived in a wing of Senior House from 1916 to 1921, before its current house was built in 1926. Fraternity Delta Tau Delta occupied the western end of Senior House during that time as well, he said.

Vincent said that it is uncertain at this time whether the IFC will allow DKE to initiate its nine pledges this year.

“I can only assume that these events will only reenergize their desires to become brothers,” Vincent said.

IFC, CLC have jurisdiction

The original decision to force DKE out of its house came from a five-member panel of the IFC. Tyrell said that the Cambridge License Commission, which provides DKE’s lodging license, is aware of the original decision.

The CLC has the authority to force DKE from its house, even if DKE were to split off from the IFC and remain in their house. However, Vincent said that it is “a moot point,” because the DKE chapter wishes to remain part of the IFC and the MIT community.

“Our goal is to coexist within the MIT community and be recognized as a contributing member,” Vincent said.

“If you’re part of the IFC community, you’re part of the Institute,” Tyrell said.

Vincent also expressed concern for how the decision would affect MIT and the fraternities, sororities and independent living group community.

“We’ve all heard about the negatives, but there’s a whole lot of positives,” Vincent said. “I believe MIT gets it better today than five years ago how significant and relevant the fraternity system is ... It’s not just a bed to sleep in, it’s a community.”