MIT fraternities and sanctions

MIT fraternities and sanctions

The DU case differed in several ways from other MIT fraternity suspensions in recent years.

In 2010, the Interfraternity Council (IFC), which is a student-run organization that represents and oversees MIT’s 25 fraternities, received a document from an anonymous source outlining questionable activities in Phi Beta Epsilon’s new member activities. The IFC judicial committee initially placed a 10-year expulsion on the chapter, but later approved an appeal that brought the punishment down to a four-year suspension.

An agreement between MIT and Phi Beta Epsilon in 2011 further relaxed the terms of the suspension, allowing members to stay in the house under probation and to recruit new members starting in the fall of 2012.

Then in 2013, a brother of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity fell four stories through a skylight during a party and sustained several injuries. Phi Sig was not suspended and was only placed on probation by the IFC judicial committee and subjected to alcohol inspections.

Before 2014, all cases like the ones above were handled by the IFC’s judicial committee, which held its own hearings and determined the appropriate sanctions.

That changed with an IFC bylaw amendment that went into effect on January 2014. No longer is the IFC responsible for investigating or punishing hazing or sexual assault allegations. Instead, those cases fall under the purview of MIT’s Committee on Discipline.

Delta Upsilon was the first fraternity to have its investigation since the bylaw change that transferred responsibility for such cases from the IFC to MIT.

Similarly, Lambda Chi Alpha was suspended by its national chapter rather than MIT after a woman fell and injured herself at a party at the fraternity in September, though the national organization did not attribute the suspension to that incident specifically. In response, MIT then derecognized LCA.

—Drew Bent