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Under Sanctions, TDC Reliant Upon Yearlong Rush

By Waseem S. Daher


The survival of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity will be largely dependent on their success with rush this year. With only eleven members, “we’re definitely considering this a make or break year,” said David T. Schoen ’05, president of TDC.

TDC is under restrictions as part of punishment for an incident involving alcohol at a roofdeck party which occurred two summers ago. “Until September 19, 2004, TDC cannot register rush events, publicize events, or have non-member male MIT students” in their house other than those exempt by the Interfraternity Council said William R. Fowler ’05, chairman of the IFC Judicial Committee.

TDC maintains its financial stability with paying boarders including male MIT students. The original rules had stated that TDC could not house non-affiliated male MIT students, but “We worked out a solution... as far as boarders go, we understand the need for revenue,” Fowler said. TDC cannot give out bids until Jan. 1, 2005.

Despite its situation, the fraternity remains optimistic. The eleven people who are left in the house are “really committed,” so things are looking good, Schoen said. TDC-affiliated residents include one “super-senior,” four seniors, four juniors, and two sophomores.

Modifying the decision

During Summer 2003, an incident occurred at TDC involving drinking, objects thrown off the roofdeck, and party attendees taunting and swearing at the police.

As a result, TDC was ordered by the IFC to remain dry and ban member James P. Wagner ’04 from the house because of allegations by the police that he was one of the two main aggressors in the roofdeck incident.

However, because TDC did not comply with these rules, it will not be allowed to hold Rush events until Sep. 19, 2004, cannot give bids until Jan. 1, 2005, and must remain dry until Sep. 13, 2005.

TDC filed an appeal shortly after the decision, but “the appeal was not sustained,” Fowler said.

A decision can only be appealed once, however after one half of a punishment has passed, a fraternity can request that the IFC review the punishment, Fowler said.

This means that TDC may file for a revision of its sanctions in March, but no earlier.

Even if things begin to look worse for TDC with respect to recruitment, “in terms of modifying JudComm sanctions, that wouldn’t be up for possibility” until March, said Daniel H. Daneshvar ’05, IFC president.

“The IFC will absolutely help TDC in any way that the IFC can... without violating its own bylaws,” he said.

“We have to treat every fraternity fairly, whether they have 50 members or six members,” Fowler said.

TDC excited about recruitment

Schoen said he hopes to recruit a pledge class once TDC can begin rushing.

“We can poster events, things like that,” he said. Besides the delay, “we essentially don’t have any more restrictions” as far as rushing is concerned, he said.

“Right now, we’re only planning on having a good Rush,” he said. “If we have a bad Rush, I don’t know what we’re going to do, it’s hard to say,” Schoen said. “We’re definitely planning on” going all-out to recruit people, he said.