Second Phi Sig JudComm hearing followed failed alcohol inspections

CLARIFICATION TO THIS ARTICLE: This article has been clarified to state that Evan Tencer did not speak on behalf of the IFC. IFC president Haldun Anil does not endorse Tencer’s statements.

Second Phi Sig JudComm hearing followed failed alcohol inspections

MIT fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa faced its second hearing with the Judicial Committee (JudComm) of the Interfraternity Council this academic year after reportedly violating sanctions imposed in a hearing last fall, former JudComm Chair Evan Tencer ’15 said in an interview with The Tech.

An 18-year-old member of Phi Sig fell four stories through a skylight on the roof of the fraternity’s house during a party on Sept. 11, 2013, and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Following the incident, the fraternity faced a JudComm hearing that was, according to current IFC President Haldun Anil ’15 in an interview, “specifically related to the roof incident.”

The decision made as a result of the hearing put the fraternity on organizational probation, which allowed the hearing board flexibility in specifically addressing their case, according to Tencer, who did not speak on behalf of the IFC. The hearing board placed sanctions on Phi Sig as part of their probation, which included being subject to a number of alcohol inspections.

Another hearing for Phi Sig was held in early March, however, after the fraternity failed two successive alcohol inspections in early December, Tencer said.

The original sanctions instituted after the first hearing mentioned that suspension of Phi Sig would be “seriously considered” should it fail one or more of its alcohol inspections. Due to extenuating circumstances, Tencer said, Phi Sig was not suspended after its second hearing and was rather kept on organizational probation.

The sanctions from the original hearing prohibited Phi Sig from having prefrosh at their house after 10 p.m. during CPW events, and the same restriction will extend to Rush, according to Tencer. The fraternity was also responsible for providing more members to serve as alcohol inspectors during CPW, and this requirement will also apply to Rush.

During Rush and CPW, “There can be no alcohol, alcoholic containers or suggestion of alcohol consumption on the premises of any chapter or living area of a member of the IFC,” according to the IFC’s 2013 recruitment rules. Each fraternity is inspected by two non-members in an effort to enforce this rule. Tencer wrote in an email to The Tech that Phi Sig must now provide one of the two students for the inspection of every other fraternity.

Ryan M. Lau ’15, a member of Phi Sig and the current JudComm chair, recused himself from the case involving the second hearing.

Changes to JudComm’s bylaws, including the selection of members of a hearing, went into effect Jan. 1. Tencer said that the new bylaws did not apply to the second hearing, but Lau’s recusal would be required under both new and old bylaws.

Tencer affirmed that so long as Phi Sig does not continue failing its alcohol inspections, “some students currently in the fraternity will be able to host registered parties in the future.”

Anil said that to his knowledge, there are now no pending JudComm cases involving Phi Sig.

—Patricia Z. Dominguez with Austin Hess contributing reporting