Steer Roast canceled due to ‘dangerous behavior’ during turnaround

MIT administrators have canceled this year’s Steer Roast due to an “ongoing review of credible information regarding dangerous behavior” in Senior House during the turnaround period, according to a joint statement from the Office of the Chancellor, Steer Roast veeps, and Senior House presidents. The statement was released Monday afternoon.

Steer Roast has been an annual concert and party that usually draws hundreds of alumni and other members of the MIT community. Senior House has traditionally hosted the event, and records indicate that the first Steer Roast may have taken place in 1963.

The Chancellor’s office refused to comment on what dangerous behavior occurred, but the administration “has placed the Senior House community on probation.”

The office also refused to comment on how many students were involved, whether the actions of a few students might have caused a community-wide probation, and whether the Cambridge Police are involved.

Steer Roast was funded in part by DormCon, which currently represents all undergraduate dorms. The $5,500 that DormCon budgeted for Steer Roast will go back into DormCon’s events budget for the spring semester and any remaining balance will roll over to next semester’s budget, DormCon President Kate Farris ’17 wrote in an email to The Tech.

“DSL will cover out-of-pocket costs the House has incurred planning the event,” the joint statement said.

According to DormCon minutes from this year and last, organizers have been making an effort to emphasize that Steer Roast is a campus event, not just an event for Senior House. UA president Sophia Liu ’17 told The Tech that she is concerned about “whether or not it’s fair to punish an entire body of students for the actions of a few.”

The Chancellor’s office also refused to comment on whether there will be additional measures as part of the probation, and whether the probation will affect Senior House’s ability to house freshmen in the coming school year.

The Tech was forwarded a thread, nearly 100 emails long, that consisted largely of alumni expressing disappointment. Some offered support in writing emails to administrators, organizing alternative events, and withholding alumni donations.

A few responses from current students asked alumni to not take such actions.

Senior House co-president Jane Maunsell ’19 wrote that Senior House will not endorse any event that alumni organize as an alternative to Steer Roast to avoid violating the terms of the current probation. It is unclear what specifically the probation entails, but social probations, which ban social events, have been levied against FSILGs in the past. Maunsell asked recipients to avoid antagonizing administrators.

The event was set to be held May 5–6.

Patrick Wahl contributed reporting.