Decision on Housing License for ATO Postponed to June

Members of the ATO fraternity will not be allowed to move back into their house yet, the Cambridge License Commission decided at a hearing on Tuesday. The commission voted to take the matter “under advisement,” and will reconsider granting a housing license at a meeting in June.

The commission, which is composed of Police Commissioner Robert C. Hass, Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Turner, and Chairman Richard V. Scali, wanted a more concrete plan for keeping the house in good condition.

They expressed concern that ATO students may not be responsible enough to manage the house. They did not specifically blame the fraternity for the burst pipe, but did blame the students for the unsafe and unsanitary living conditions discovered when the house was inspected following the water damage.

ATO President DeRon M. Brown ’10 and Shane Norton ’97, president of the ATO Alumni Board, spoke on behalf of ATO. They said that that all house members would now work harder to maintain the house, outlining a plan to better manage the house.

The members of the commission said that they had wanted a written outline of house responsibilities and a more detailed plan of how ATO would avoid degrading the house in the future.

After Scali said that the commission was not prepared to vote on housing license at this hearing, ATO resident adviser Ovid C. Amadi G and Kaya Miller, assistant dean of Residential Life Programs and FSILGs, spoke on behalf of ATO. Amadi further vouched for ATO’s revamped management plan.

Last fall, the commission had expressed a wish for a “resident manager … not a student … who has knowledge of the building” to look after the house. But Miller vouched for Amadi, saying that he had been deemed a suitable candidate for resident adviser.

She added that since the housing license had been revoked, ATO had met the “fifteen objectives” for improvement set by the Department of Residential Life.

Miller said ATO has a full alcohol ban in effect until next February, and also in the summers of 2009 and 2010. For spring semester 2010, ATO may host events with alcohol, but with no more than 30 guests. After summer 2010, ATO would regain all party privileges. Miller said these steps would help ATO regain responsibility.

The Tech reported last fall that ATO had served alcohol to underage freshmen at a rush event, causing many in the IFC to criticize ATO’s rush practices.

The CLC set the vote for ATO’s housing license to June 4, 2009.

“From an alumni standpoint, we are preparing a positive outlook from this hearing, hoping for full license,” said Norton. “We’ll see what happens on June 4.”

Both Brown and Norton said that in the meantime, they will be preparing the house for the re-arrival of the brothers. They will also continue to refine rules for ATO summer boarders.

Other parties at the commission hearing were more successful. Several recommendations for various licenses were approved.