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MIT fraternity suspended after woman falls from window

Woman injured in fall at party

An MIT fraternity that hosted a party Sunday night in which a woman was injured in a fall from a third-story window has been suspended pending an investigation, the group’s international organization said Tuesday, as partygoers shared more details about the incident.

The suspension bars Lambda Chi Alpha from meeting or hosting and participating in activities until the inquiry is complete, said Tad Lichtenauer, a spokesman for the organization that oversees individual chapters.

In the wake of the fall at the fraternity’s house on Bay State Road, Boston officials said they hope to meet soon with MIT representatives to discuss the “proper use” of all the college’s fraternities in the city. Municipal officials are investigating whether the fraternity violated city rules that prohibit the property from hosting gatherings of 50 or more people.


The woman, who is a student but not affiliated with MIT, fell from the window around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, authorities said. She was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said McKenzie Ridings, spokeswoman for the Boston Public Health Commission.

Officials have not disclosed the extent of her injuries, nor said how she fell.

Emmanuel College freshman Brooke Ames said Tuesday she was at the party with friends and saw the woman dancing. The woman then tried to lean back but instead tumbled out of the open window, which did not have a screen, Ames said.

When Ames and her friends ran down to check on her and alerted others to call 911, they realized the woman had landed on a one-story garage attached to the building.

MIT officials said they are investigating, but declined to release a report by campus police or to comment further Tuesday. Boston Police referred questions to MIT Police.

The City of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department is also investigating the matter, according to spokeswoman Lisa Timberlake. She said city inspectors walked through the property Tuesday morning and found no violations.


However, the department plans to investigate whether the fraternity had more than 50 people at the house Sunday night, which would be a violation of city rules because the property does not have a permit necessary to host larger gatherings, Timberlake said.

Multiple members of the fraternity declined to comment Tuesday.

The “rush schedule” page on the fraternity’s website said a party was scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Sunday night.

The site also said the fraternity “has become widely known in the Boston college scene for our great parties” regularly drawing students from area colleges.

Ames said she and her friends had arrived at the fraternity at about 11 p.m. and waited in line for about 20 minutes to get in. She estimated there were about 100 people at the party. Ames said she and her friends were not drinking and did not notice any others who were drinking.

“It was supposed to be a dry party,” Ames said.

Last October, several weeks after an MIT student fell four stories through a skylight at a party at MIT’s Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity in Kenmore Square, city officials announced a ban on large gatherings at residences in the city occupied by MIT fraternities, sororities, or independent living groups.

At a meeting in January, city officials said the student groups could apply for “assembly use” permits in order to host large gatherings again, according to Timberlake.


As of Tuesday, no applications had been submitted for any of the student organizations’ properties, Timberlake said.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau
. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele