At about 11:50 PM on Sunday, September 3, 2017, members of the Boston Police Licensed Premises Unit were in the area of 97 Bay State Road when they observed a line of approximately 40 college-aged persons awaiting entry into the MIT Phi Delta Theta fraternity house. As the building is licensed as a dormitory by the City of Boston, the detectives initiated a licensed premise inspection.
Upon approaching the residence, detectives observed a fraternity member restricting entry at the door and maintaining a mechanical count of persons inside which he reported to be 116 persons. After gaining entry, detectives immediately observed an 18-year-old male in possession of a can of Bud Lite. As the detectives continued to the first floor, detectives observed the occupancy to be well in excess of the posted City of Boston ISD Certificate that allows for 39 resident occupants in the dormitory. Detectives also observed the first floor was being operated as a nightclub with low light, strobe lights, and entertainment provided by a DJ without approval of the City of Boston License Division. The occupants had also installed a waterfall on an interior upper floor that allowed water to fall through the central stairwell, soaking the marble staircase and adding to the hazardous conditions presented by the excessive occupancy.
The dormitory was evacuated of all non-residents and brought into compliance with the posted ISD Certificate. As a result of the inspection, the president of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity was issued a licensed premise violation for Minor in Possession of Alchohol inside License Dormitory, Overcrowding in Excess of Licensed Capacity, DJ Entertainment without Approval, and Hazardous Conditions inside Building.
Said Police Commissioner William Evans, “Our goal is not to put a damper on students’ fun, but when we see conditions that put these students’ safety at risk—underage drinking, waterfalls down marble staircases, fire hazards and overcrowding—we are obligated to step in and shut it down. Students should be advised that my officers are out there checking and making sure they do the right thing and the safe thing.”