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After Halloween Incident, Zeta Psi To Face Review Hearing with CLC

By Ray C. He


The Cambridge License Commission will hold a continuation hearing today for the Zeta Psi fraternity, regarding a Halloween incident involving beer bottles being thrown out of windows, said Richard V. Scali, Executive Officer of the CLC.

The CLC will also hold review hearings for recent decisions against Delta Kappa Epsilon and Theta Delta Chi.

Zeta Psi “had a hearing back on Jan. 27 with regards to an MIT police report during Halloween, of beer bottles being thrown out of the window and someone urinating out of a second story window,” Scali said.

“According to the evidence that was heard, the urination part was not indeed true, but the beer bottles being thrown out of the second story window was the problem, hitting a car below,” he said.

The CLC voted to give Zeta Psi time “to be proactive in working to prevent underage drinking” at both Zeta Psi and other fraternities, Scali said.

Scali also said Zeta Psi must be alcohol-free until their review today.

IFC JudComm not involved

The Interfraternity Council’s Judicial Committee did not hear Zeta Psi’s case, said William R. Fowler ’05, IFC JudComm chair. Fowler did not comment on the reasoning behind the decision not to hear the case.

Zeta Psi’s initiative in communicating with the CLC and the fact that the incident only involved a small fraction of the fraternity may have contributed to JudComm’s silence on the issue.

“The IFC never even brought them up on any kind of hearing at all, because we didn’t view it as a fraternity incident,” said IFC President Daniel H. Daneshvar ’05. It was just some brothers being noisy, he said.

“Our leadership at the time was pretty proactive with the issue and dealing with the city, so there were no charges brought against us by the IFC,” said Joshua S. Yardley ’04, Zeta Psi’s president in January.

Zeta Psi educates others

Daniel Trujillo, associate dean for community development and substance abuse programs, and David N. Rogers, assistant dean and director of fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, were supposed to oversee the no alcohol policy and make sure that Zeta Psi did something proactive to prevent underage drinking, Scali said.

“I’m not supervising,” Rogers said. “I’m working with the fraternity in terms of what they’re implementing.”

The specific goals of Zeta Psi’s plan include “increasing the education and accountability of brothers” and “communicating to MIT, particularly the Greek community, on what steps they took to prevent underage drinking,” Rogers said.

Zeta Psi meets with the Campus Alcohol Advisory Board, “a group of fraternity members, dorm representatives, the MIT administration, and representatives from the City of Cambridge” about once a month, Yardley said. “We talk about different issues and policies surrounding alcohol at MIT,” he said.

With the CAAB, “a bunch of fraternities are writing hypothetical case studies,” Yardley said. The studies will present risky situations and examine alternatives, and they can be integrated as part of legal liability seminars, he said.

“A lot of times, students see the MIT administration or the CLC as these faceless organizations that are against us,” he said. “This gives us a chance to put faces to names. So, if something does come up, it makes it easier to deal with.”

Zeta Psi also plans on working with SaveTFP on a social marketing campaign to educate students about safe and responsible drinking, Yardley said.

Social marketing campaign on alcohol awareness involve sampling a number of students, asking them how many students they thought consumed alcohol, asking them how many of them had consumed alcohol, and then comparing this number, Rogers said.

“I think that people think that drinking and underage drinking are more acceptable or prominent on campus than it really is,” Yardley said. It’s important for people to realize that not everyone drinks, he said.

CLC meeting to review work

The CLC will not be making a decision, but they will be hearing an update tonight, Scali said. The commission will review the progress of Zeta Psi’s programs over the past year.

“The commission just said they would listen to their program,” Scali said. “If they're doing a satisfactory job, they wouldn’t impose any new sanctions or conditions.”

“I see no reason that they won’t be fairly pleased with the results” of Zeta Psi’s efforts towards alcohol awareness, Yardley said. Additionally, Zeta Psi has adhered to the alcohol free policy for the past three months, he said.

Zeta Psi’s last violation in 1998

There was “a disciplinary hearing in December 1998, when there was a non-registered party, where an 18-year-old MIT student became intoxicated and unconscious,” Scali said. “The committee voted that they become alcohol-free until Aug. 30, 1999, and that no kegs will be allowed on the premises” during that time.

Additionally, Zeta Psi had to “give advance notice to CLC for any events over 200 people, and could not have events with over 499 people” during that period, he said.

The 1998 incident is the only recent disciplinary infractions handled by the CLC, Scali said.

TDC, DKE sanctioned last fall

Last fall, TDC was sanctioned by the CLC for an incident that happened at TDC over the summer, where several residents threw bottles and other items from the TDC roofdeck and swore at and taunted the police. TDC, like Zeta Psi, is going before the CLC today to see whether their response to the roofdeck incident has been satisfactory.

DKE is also being reviewed at today’s CLC meeting. The CLC is reviewing the sanctions it imposed for DKE allegedly serving alcohol to minors during Orientation last fall.