Assembly limit for Boston ILGs, frats, and sororities lifted

Some Boston houses will be able to host up to 150 people at events

A new social event policy for fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups has been issued and is set to go into effect today. Among other things, it will lift the party ban established last year by increasing the assembly numbers of FSILGs located in Boston that were previously limited to 49 people.

That tighter restriction came in September after a student unaffiliated with MIT survived a fall from a window at Lambda Chi Alpha during rush week.

Fraternities in Cambridge and Brookline had already seen the 49-person limit lifted in October, when each fraternity received an updated assembly number that depended on the number of “PartySafe+-trained” brothers, among other things, though the total was still capped at 150 people.

The policy issued by the FSILG Assembly Management Working Group was approved by the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Association (Panhel), and the Living Group Council (LGC) over the past week. After being reviewed by Dean of Residential Life and Dining Henry Humphreys, the policy was sent to Boston officials, according to an email sent out by IFC President Samuel Oppenheim ’16 to all FSILGs on Feb. 19.

After Feb. 26, houses in Boston will be able to host more than 49 people during house events both with and without alcohol. During events held without alcohol, houses will be allowed to host the lesser of their assembly capacity and 150 people. At events with alcohol, each house’s specified assembly number is a function of the number of members in each house, the number of PartySafe-trained members, the maximum occupancy for the property occupied by the FSILG, and the maximum number of people allowed in the house established by the FSILG’s alumni house corporation. No house’s assembly number, however, may exceed 150 people.

The new policy also adopted the existing Association of Independent Living Group roof deck rules, banning their use for social events without administrative approval. “Roof decks may not be used for any social events without written approval of the Associate Dean/Director of the FSILG Office,” the document reads.

“The reason behind the change was to consolidate all social policies into one document,” Oppenheim said.

Portions of the policy address alumni receptions and special house events as well as the use of social media when advertising events and inviting guests. The policy states: “No more than 250 invitations may be extended. For purposes of this policy, an invitation is defined as direct advertising, through social media, by a member of a FSILG. Advertising includes, but not limited to written invitations, e-mail, or other forms of publicity.”

This most recent rendering of the social policy differed significantly from the one issued in August 2014, right before LCA incident that occurred during rush week. In last year’s policy, the maximum possible assembly number for any house was 249 people. It also did not address the use of roof decks or methods of extending invitations to guests via social media outlets.

“The FSILG Social Policy is a working document and we hope to continuously update it to represent the views of the community,” Oppenheim said. “One future goal of the social policy committee, comprised of representatives of the IFC, Panhel, the LGC, the FSILG office, the AILG, and the DSL, is to come up with a long-term solution for the assembly numbers in our communities.”