Parties and large gatherings are once again effectively banned at MIT fraternities, campus officials announced Wednesday afternoon, just days after a woman fell from a window at Lambda Chi Alpha.
The student, who survived, was reportedly “intoxicated,” according to MIT Police logs, which listed the incident as alcohol-related. MIT prohibits alcohol at fraternity events during rush, which began last Saturday.
The MIT chapter of LCA is now under suspension by both its international organization and MIT.
And for now, gatherings of more than 49 people are forbidden at all MIT fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, according to an email from FSILG Office Interim Director Robert Ferrara ’67 and Residential Life and Dining Dean Henry Humphreys.
The announcement comes less than a week after a new FSILG event policy cleared the way for rush parties and events this past weekend. The policy supposedly eased restrictions, in place since fall 2013, on gatherings at Boston-based MIT fraternities.
But Boston officials told The Boston Globe that they were investigating whether LCA had violated rules prohibiting gatherings of 50 or more people. It was not immediately clear whether the new MIT internal policy was ever in line with city regulations.
The Boston Licensing Board had revoked the assembly licenses of MIT fraternities in the city last October after a student fell four stories through a skylight at Phi Sigma Kappa. The board’s move meant that no more people could assemble inside a fraternity house than could live in it.
Interfraternity Council President Haldun Anil ’15 told The Tech last week that Boston had refused to reinstate the licenses multiple times, indicating it was unlikely to grant them for non-commercial operations.
The city’s cap appeared to be lifted last Thursday when student leaders and the MIT FSILG office introduced a more generous formula for determining house capacities just in time for rush. Anil said the new internal policy, which also introduced procedures for event registration and risk management, was a proactive effort to “enforce the safety of social events ourselves,” but had not been reviewed by the city.
The Lambda Chi Alpha incident on Sunday night “resurfaced the issue of assembly numbers” at Boston’s Inspectional Services Department, which told MIT officials Wednesday that gatherings of 50 or more people would require special event permits, according to Ferrara and Humphreys.
Unlike the previous limits, which affected only fraternities in Boston, the new restrictions apply to all MIT FSILGs.
The MIT officials said they would continue to work with the city and announced plans to meet with leaders of all FSILGs, many of which had events for new members and pledges planned later this week.
In an email to fraternity leaders Wednesday, Anil said LCA could not rush, extend bids, or promise future bids to students during its “temporary suspension.”
Additionally, Anil wrote that an investigation would be led by Associate Dean for Student Life Judy Robinson in the Division of Student Life, but that no one from the FSILG office would be involved “[i]n an effort to ensure that the investigation is unbiased.”
According to the Globe, Boston Inspectional Services did not find any building code violations during an inspection of LCA Tuesday morning.