Three Harvard undergraduates were arraigned Monday on charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace at a Saturday night Wellesley College formal dance that was part of their initiation into a final club.
The students, Robert B. Cleary Jr. '87-'88, Michael W. De Voe '87 and Richard M. Oehmler Jr. '85-'86, were attending the winter formal at Tower Court, a student dormitory, as part of their initiation into the D.U. Club, one of Harvard's nine all-male final clubs.
All three, as well as officials of the D.U., declined comment.
Cleary De Voe, and Oehmler were arraigned at Dedham District Court, and will stand trial for the misdemeanor charges on January 27. They face imprisonment for up to six months, a fine of $200, or both.
It is unclear who decided to press charges against the students.
Harvard officials said yesterday they are looking into the incident, and that the College may take disciplinary action as well.
Police Cite Harassment
According to police reports, a large group of men surrounded a Wellesley undergraduate and began physically harassing her. Wellesley College police were called in, and a scuffle ensued between the police and some of the men at the party. The three Harvard students were the only people arrested following the scuffle, according to police.
Cleary, De Voe and Oehmler were arrested by Wellesley police following the incident, and spent the night at the Wellesley Police Department jail. They were released on bail the next morning.
"Certainly there was a lot of out-of-control behavior by a whole group of people other than the three who were arrested," said Wellesley Dean of Students Molly S. Campbell. "There certainly was harassing behavior."
"It's a fairly large incident by the numbers of people involved," said Campbell, who said she couldn't recall any previous incident of this magnitude.
Police officials said a more complete statement about the Saturday night incident will be released today.
Harvard Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said that "this has been extraordinarily disruptive to Wellesley College."
Campbell said, "I am distressed about it, and I am certainly keeping in contact with Dean Epps."
Epps said he is looking into the incident and will present a report to the Administrative Board, Harvard's disciplinary body, which hears reports on all incidents where Harvard students are arrested.
Epps said he will speak to the graduate officers of the club about the incident. "The club as a body bears some responsibility for what happened," Epps said.
No action is being taken by the Wellesley student government, said Jody L. Gottlieb, the government's president.
Michael R. McAdoo contributed to the reporting of this article.