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Club Members Frustrated by City Regulations

Cambridge License Commission Institutes New Rules to Cut Down on Late-Night Disturbances

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The stricter regulations imposed by the city last Wednesday on a Law School social club have left its members frustrated and unsure of their next move.

But neighbors of the Lincoln's Inn Society are pleased, saying they hope the new rules instituted by the Cambridge License Commission will cut down on late-night noise.

Residents who live near the clubhouse told the commission last Tuesday that noisy guest traffic at the society frequently wakes them up as late as 4:30 a.m.

In response, the commission banned alcohol on the premises for one year, limited social events to 25 people and restricted access to residents only after 1 a.m. on weekdays and 1:30 a.m. on weekends.

Failure to comply will jeopardize the society's lodging license that allows seven club officers to live at the house, located at 44 Follen St, west of the Law School.

Representatives of the club said they thought the issue has been exaggerated.

"We do feel like we were ambushed," said John F. Paschke, vice chair of the society and a third-year law student. "The character of this place is not as it was portrayed in the hearing."

The society's attorney agreed.

"They've been part of that community for 50 years, and I think they've been handled pretty severely and unfairly by the License Commission," said David A. Wylie, the society's lawyer.

Paschke said the allegations against the society before the commission lacked objectivity. "We'd really like to see an independent investigation," he said.

Wylie and Paschke both said that the club has changed a great deal from what it was like a few years ago.

According to Paschke, the fact that only three neighbors publicly complained indicates that the society is not a menace to the neighborhood.

But Henry J. Lelaurain, one of the three residents that appeared before the commission to complain last Tuesday, said more than three residents are upset, but they are unwilling to come forward publicly.

"If one person is disturbed on a regular basis, that is cause for action," he said.

Neighbors of the society said they are optimistic that the measures will reduce early-morning disturbances for the rest of the year, but they question the permanence of the city's action.

"I think we may have to go through all of this again next fall," said Lelaurain.

City Councillor Francis H. Duehay '55, who joined the residents in their protests, agreed with Lelaurain.

Duehay said he is concerned that when a new group of members joins next fall, the message the commission tried to send might get lost in the transition.

The society is also trying to come to terms with the new regulations.

Society officials said they are not sure what the next step for the organization will be.

"[Agreeing to the conditions] would alter some aspects of the club," Paschke said, calling the capacity limit and curfew a "detriment" to those who come to the club to relax after a long night of studying.

Paschke said the officers of the club and the membership as a whole will meet to discuss their options.

It is possible the society will ask for a re-hearing or will reject the conditions and surrender their lodging license.

Without the license, the society could still operate as a social house under the variance granted to them by the city in 1947, Wylie said.

Both sides appeared willing to work out a satisfactory solution.

"We harbor no animosity toward the residents of the Inn," Lelaurain said.

And Paschke said that the society will continue efforts to reach an agreement with neighbors and maintain their social atmosphere.

"In one way, shape, or form, the Lincoln's Inn is going to continue," Paschke said

Without the license, the society could still operate as a social house under the variance granted to them by the city in 1947, Wylie said.

Both sides appeared willing to work out a satisfactory solution.

"We harbor no animosity toward the residents of the Inn," Lelaurain said.

And Paschke said that the society will continue efforts to reach an agreement with neighbors and maintain their social atmosphere.

"In one way, shape, or form, the Lincoln's Inn is going to continue," Paschke said

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