Random Hall is a vibrant and unique living space

I was appalled by the lack of editorial discretion shown by The Tech in its description of Random Hall in the “meet the dorms” inset of last Friday’s CPW issue. Not only was Random Hall given the only unfavorable description among all of the dorms, but the description itself contained incorrect information.

Random Hall is not “run-down” and can certainly not be described in the present tense as an “old tenement.” The use of an unattributed quote does not excuse non-contextualized misinformation.

So for any prefrosh still reading The Tech after having left campus, I would like to provide some accurate information about Random Hall. As a resident for the past three years, I have never found Random Hall to fall short of a clean, well-maintained living space.

And in addition to providing the physical comforts of a home, I have also found in Random a vibrant and supportive community. And just for the record, the only bacterial cultures growing in my refrigerator are found in my yogurt containers.

Manishika Agaskar ’12,
Random Hall resident

Congrats to the MIT gymnastics teams

As will hopefully be reported in this paper, the MIT gymnastics teams just returned from the club gymnastics national championships this past weekend. This is a large tournament with over 60 schools and clubs and over 800 gymnasts.

MIT sent four men and five women, and the results were outstanding. On the women’s side, 5 is the smallest number that can realistically compete for the team championship. They were facing teams with many times that number. Nevertheless, the MIT women won the team national championship, plus the individual all-around and parallel bar national championships. On the men’s side, MIT had two highly skilled individuals, which is not enough to compete for the team championship, but both placed highly in all in events and an MIT man won the rings national championship. This is a truly outstanding performance and reflects well on the team members, the coaches, and on MIT.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be repeated. Graduations from the teams will deplete their numbers, so unless elite-quality freshmen enter, the teams will be too small to compete successfully. And elite quality gymnasts are unlikely to go to a school that has no varsity team. Nice work, DAPER — remind me why MIT doesn’t want national championships?

Tom Hafer ’70

Positive advice for prefrosh hits the mark

Editor’s Note: This letter was written in response to an April 8 opinion column by Ryan Normandin.

As a parent of an MIT freshman, I was impressed by the honest and accurate assessment of life at MIT and the advice to incoming freshmen. My son was also amongst the best and brightest in high school, and yes, has learned almost immediately that he is no longer the big fish in the small pond of smarts and knowledge. He now is a guppy in the ocean of intelligence that makes up MIT. However, as the author states, the ability to do research, the quality of the faculty and the challenges from his peers have all added fuel to his thirst for learning. What others may interpret as being hard, he sees as an enjoyable challenge. Add to this fact his ability to play two varsity sports — like football and lacrosse — and MIT offers all that a high achieving student can thrive for. As a parent, I couldn’t be happier for him — and it’s money well-spent as a great investment in his future. Thanks for the honest insight.

Joel Santisteban,
Father of a member of the Class of 2014