Alpha Tau Omega Expelled from IFC Pending Appeal; New Fraternity Joins

The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity was expelled from the Interfraternity Council last Thursday but has appealed this decision and is waiting on the results, according to ATO’s president DeRon M. Brown ‘10. Brown wrote in an e-mail that ATO does not know when it will receive a decision on its appeal. He said he is also uncertain if ATO will participate in rush, which starts Saturday.

IFC president David Hutchings ’10 declined to comment on the proceedings because the matter is still pending. He said that IFC policy violations and subsequent investigations by the IFC’s Judicial Committee are not made public until final decisions are made.

Hutchings said that freshmen will be informed of any sanctions that substantively affect rush. He added that IFC policy violation investigations regularly occur around this time every year.

When a fraternity is expelled from the IFC, it is also stripped of MIT recognition.

The expulsion follows a sanction imposed on ATO by the IFC last fall after the fraternity violated rush week alcohol restrictions. Hutchings described this sanction as a “one-and-done” policy, in which certain violations would result in the revoking of the chapter’s IFC membership and other violations would incur lesser penalties.

Earlier that year, during the summer, ATO lost its housing license from the Cambridge Licensing Commission and was forced to move out after a burst pipe caused extensive water damage. The chapter reclaimed its license in June 2009 but is now subject to several restrictions on the building’s use: Residents must not use the roof, they must undergo monthly inspections by the alumni board and MIT, and they must follow MIT’s alcohol rules. Finally, only six people may reside in the house.

During both school terms last academic year, the Association of Independent Living Groups, an organization of FSILG alumni that advises FSILGs, did not recommend ATO’s accreditation.

Last June, after ATO regained its housing license, assistant dean of residential programs Kaya Miller told The Tech that the Division of Student Life did not have “any motives to remove ATO.”

SAE Reestablishes Itself

The IFC council voted Wednesday to approve Sigma Alpha Epsilon as an associate member of the IFC.

As an associate member, SAE does not have voting rights and pays half the usual IFC dues, but will be participating fully in rush. It must aim to expand beyond its five current members to prepare for eventual chartering from their national fraternity and, finally, a vote by the IFC to make the organization a full probationary member of the IFC.

Hutchings said the process of becoming a full member will likely to take about three years.

This is not the first time a chapter of SAE has been a member of MIT’s IFC: An earlier chapter was closed in 2000 because of an underage-drinking violation.

Current SAE president Raven J. Reddy ’12 said that the alumni of this organization were crucial in the reestablishment of the chapter: “The [alumni] wanted a chapter back … They’re the ones who gave us legitimacy,” he said.

Reddy said the chapter is “trying to put a new spin on the old SAE” by placing an emphasis on social service and is currently working with the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, a community-building organization in Cambridge.

In January 2000, SAE was expelled from the IFC after an underaged Wellesley College student was allegedly served alcohol and had to be taken to the hospital. SAE was expelled again in February 2005 after being reinstated as an associate member of the IFC. The president of the IFC at the time, Christopher P. Child ’06 told The Tech that “some of the presidents felt that SAE hadn’t lived up to the standard of being an associate member.”

Nick Bushak and Jeff Guo contributed reporting to this article.