Boston Officials Ban ALL MIT Fraternity And Sorority Parties, Indefinitely

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Nice Move

About a month ago, an MIT student fell four stories from the roof of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity house. You see, PSK had a plexiglass dome skylight on their “illegal rooftop deck,” and during a Wednesday night soiree, one student decided to jump up and down on top of it. He landed on his back and suffered some head injuries, but was conscious after the fall.

That student was stupid (as far as MIT students go, anyway). You don’t attempt to break glass by jumping on it, and then get upset when it breaks, but I suppose we all do stupid things when we’re drunk. Some of us text the guy we just met 32 times in a row. Some of us make out with vaginas on public sidewalks. Some of us order “one of every slice” at a local pizzeria. And some of us attempt to defy the laws of gravity and narrowly avoid plummeting to our deaths. It happens.

Officials in Boston, however, don’t seem to share my “Let’s let bygones be bygones” mentality when it comes to serious injuries. In response to the student’s accident, all parties and gatherings at off-campus fraternity houses, sorority houses, and independent living groups have been banned. Organized events involving more people than are permitted to live in each dwelling, by law, are hereby forbidden, indefinitely.

This ban is to last at least until each building has been issued a new inspection certificate by the city, but officials are “seriously considering” making this a permanent change.

While maintaining safe party facilities is important, I can’t imagine the detriment this will cause for the party scene. School officials are trying to provide on-campus facilities for social gatherings, but do you remember how fun the last school sponsored social event like BINGO in the student lounge was? Of course you don’t! You didn’t go to it. Nobody did!

Have a heart, Boston. Fix the safety issues, quickly, and let the students of MIT drink, make out, and socialize in peace. Those nerds suffered through four years of not going to parties in high school. Let’s let them rage.


Image via MIT


Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of TSM for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at

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  1. 65

    In an odd series of events, I ended up at an MIT frat party about 4 years ago. I was shocked. Shit was actually wild, 200+ people going nuts. I’ll never forget it. Highly recommended, it was an unexpected sight.

    ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 3 years ago
  2. 32

    If that gets challenged in court, it’s not going to stand up to scrutiny for longer than it takes the judge to write a 3 sentence decision. This ban is essentially trampling heavily on 1st amendment right of assembly.

    Want to have a few buddies over to watch the game with your roommates? Sorry, you’ve exceeded maximum occupation. Jesus this is a dumb overreach. It’s almost as bad as when LA tried to ban raves, which are idiotic in and of themselves. “What do you mean we can’t ban types of music?”

    ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 3 years ago
    • 4
      frat masterson

      i’m an MIT alum. MIT police don’t need warrants, but BPD do. the reason MIT police don’t need to is because they’re not part of the state, and the Constitution only applies to the government

      ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 3 years ago
    • 1

      MIT are licensed police officers and bound by the same rules as normal cops, I’m assuming, except the dorms probably have some kind of probably cause or exigent circumstance waiver in the housing contract. And yes the constitution applies to MIT as well. Any school that takes any kind of financial aid or participates in government programs, which MIT definitely does, then they have to abide by just about everything public schools do. IANAL either but that’s how it’s been presented to me.

      ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 3 years ago
    • -2

      Just do what my house did when it was put on probation.

      We were issued a mandate that required an event form filled out and filed anytime we had more than 20 people gathered with alcohol present within our house. Considering my fraternity housed 100 men, our dinners usually had more than 20 guys 21-and-over at them. They would have beer or wine with dinner (no hard alcohol allowed in this mandate.) So..we started filing events every damn day..requiring our fraternal governing bodies (and sometimes police) to come over and inspect our “events.” They would always get pissed, and we would just reply, “Hey, we’re just following the rules. Would you guys like to join us for dinner? Spiro, our chef, makes amazing steaks.” After about 3 weeks of this, they stopped showing up.

      Soooo we started throwing huge parties..filed and everything, but none of the officials ever showed up.

      ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 3 years ago
    • -4

      IANAL, but as a resident of an MIT fraternity in Boston, we have very few rights. We are technically licensed as dorms, so we don’t even have 4th amendment rights. Police don’t need warrants to come inside.

      ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 3 years ago
  3. 19

    As an MIT pledge at a frat down the street, the article doesnt put enough blame on Phi Sig. I was briefly rushed there and they explicitly told kids to jump on the skylight as some part of the pledge process. They bragged about how they had violated code and gotten away with it. Im not surprised the second that someone was actually seriously hurt Phi Sig pinned it on the individual, ignoring the fact that they had been pushing countless kids to do the same thing. Everyone here is pissed that we’ve been shut down. But nothing gets us angrier than Phi Sig’s blatant ignorance regarding building code have campus wide repercussions. Fuck Phi Sig.
    PS Those guys are a bunch of weenies, it doesnt take falling through a skylight too realize that
    PPS I heard Phi Sig’s new theme song is “Drop it Like its Hot”

    ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 3 years ago
  4. 13
    Silver Skulls

    For all of those commenting on the constitutionality of this, let me explain how this state of fascism is constructed. Although I’m a few years removed, this was the case when I served on IFC Exec:

    With very exceptions, every MIT fraternity has an alumni association that owns and manages their multi-million-dollar off-campus brownstone. MIT requires that, for a fraternity to be officially recognized by the school, they must be licensed as a dormitory. And of course, most fraternity national organizations require their chapters to be recognized and in good standing with their school. In being licensed as a dormitory, the Boston-side houses fall under jurisdiction of the Boston Licensing Board. That subjects the Boston-side fraternities to the whims of the over-reaching and reactionary liberal local government.

    With respect to law enforcement jurisdiction, other commenters are correct in saying that MIT Police can enter these houses without a warrant and Boston Police cannot, except for one small caveat. The Boston Police can function as dormitory inspectors and enter fraternities warrantless under that authority (which they often do).

    Side note: not long ago, Boston Police ran a series of covert operations where they used young plain-clothed officers with fake school ID’s to infiltrate fraternity parties in Boston and then call in stings.

    TL;DR: The school’s shitty bloated administration is just as much to blame for this as local government. MIT forces privately-owned residences that could function autonomously to register as dormitories, subjecting them to the very special flavor of fascism perpetrated by local licensing boards.

    Lesson Learned: If you go to school in The People’s Republic of Cambridge, you’re gonna have a bad time.

    ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 3 years ago

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