CPW events not permitted between 1 and 6 a.m. this year

Ban has been Institute policy since the ’90s, but some students worry it will detract from ‘MIT experience’

MIT is not permitting events between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. during this year’s Campus Preview Weekend.

The policy will be enforced in order to bring CPW into compliance with Institute policy, which states that all campus events must end by 1 a.m. Exceptions may be granted by the CPW Events Review Committee “if there is a compelling reason the event cannot be held prior to 1 [a.m.].”

Dean for Undergraduate Education Dennis M. Freeman was behind the change, Assistant Director of Admissions Katie A. Kelley said in an email to the Dormitory Council. Freeman referred The Tech to Dean of Admissions Stuart Schmill ’86.

“Given that we are hosting about a thousand high schools students on our campus, ending formal events at 1 a.m. seems like the right thing to do,” Schmill said. “I do not think the pre-frosh perception of MIT or of CPW will change.”

Institute policy has prohibited events after 1 a.m. since the 1990s, but due to a lack of communication between the Student Activities Office (SAO) and the CPW Events Review Committee, the committee has inadvertently ignored the ban and approved events at all hours in previous years.

Eli H. Ross ’14 wrote that the administration had planned on enforcing the policy last year during his tenure as DormCon president, but ultimately did not. Describing what happened last year, he said that “the policy choice was made and then simply relayed to relevant groups.” Students argued that they were told about the ban too late to adjust their programming, so the ban was not enforced.

The administration also agreed to allow MIT students to serve on the CPW Advisory Committee, which had previously only consisted of MIT staff.

Many students are not in favor of this year’s ban.

Senior House President Adrianna Rodriguez ’16 said she would prefer that the ban extend from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“I think that would be a bit more reasonable and more reflective of what our schedules are actually like, at least for a good number of Senior House residents,” she said, adding that any night-time ban “leaves out a large portion of the MIT community that is actually nocturnal.”

Only G@MIT’s event “Super Secret Queer Time” has been granted an exception to take place after 1 a.m. According to Schmill, G@MIT argued that students needed a time outside the window of other events in order to feel comfortable attending.

A number of other events applied for exceptions, such as Firehose, Pinkie’s Diner, and MacSimNext Ultimate, but all were denied. The criteria used to determine which events receive an exception remain undisclosed.

Next House President Haley Hurowitz ’16 said: “The policy has changed the events Next House traditionally holds. The 1 [a.m.] rule means we cannot hold events as late.”

“CPW can be incredibly overwhelming,” she said. “I felt that pressure when I was a prefrosh. Although many prefrosh will probably find ‘after hours’ events or continue to hang out with others, I do feel like a sizable number will just go to bed early and miss that MIT experience. However, what convinced me to come to MIT was not the first two nights when I went to bed relatively early, but the last one when I stayed up till 8 a.m. talking to people I’m still friends with today.”

Gaurav J. Singh ’15, the Undergraduate Association’s CPW Representative, believes that the policy will diminish the spirit of CPW for prefrosh who are awake late at night. “Prefrosh who are awake may experience difficulty finding something to do after 1 [a.m.],” he said.

“[M]any prefrosh will have a harder time finding available MIT students to talk to. I think the policy falsely gives the impression that MIT student life ends at 1 [a.m.].”

Anonymous about 9 years ago

It's also frustrating that student groups can't hold their normal events this weekend because CPW won't release rooms.

If I were a prefrosh, I'd love to wander into real rehearsals, discussions, dances, etc that weren't special CPW events.

Anonymous about 9 years ago

The administration always did know best when it came to dorm security...and mandatory dining...and RLADs...and Bexley...and all freshmen living on campus...and dorm murals...

So why doubt them now?

Nice Freedom about 9 years ago

2- I will have to be circuitous to avoid causing offense. You know that feeling that you have, of one thing coming after another, in accelerating fashion, without an underlying reason? That feeling means there's a bubble. You do not fully understand it, but there is one. Now let me nudge you along: viewing these changes as a top-down administration thing is a little simplistic. The progressive students, and their parents, want a lack of freedom. Because it's all they've ever known and all they will know-- the very idea of an alternative offends them. And by a lack of freedom, I don't really mean dorm security, mandatory dining or RLADs. By freedom, I mean something deep and rare, which perhaps you will eventually understand.

Anonymous about 9 years ago

Another of administration's classics! Now restricting CPW for the sake of liability...

I have a question for student group leaders though. What stops us from organizing those events independently? Why can't we print our own CPW pamphlets, so we can freely organize our events under our own constraints?

As MIT students, we're so proud of our ability to think for ourselves and be different from other students in other colleges, but this CPW story above sounds like a defeat to the student body's capacity to organize itself and resist against these ridiculous rulings from the administration.

I just feel like we, as students, just sit and watch while MIT becomes sadly more different from the one we joined, and there's no one to lead us or represent us to help us stop that...

Mean Freedom about 9 years ago

4- I answered that in 3; it's to do with the leftist mindset of students and their parents, so it's foolish to think students would rebel. Although you're right that MIT is marginally less communist than other colleges, it's still the same system. Universities are fundamentally not institutions of learning anymore. They're something else. What you're seeing is as clear a bubble as you'll ever see. It will take a while for the system to implode.

goMIT about 9 years ago

They should ban all activities between 6am and 10am because 1) prospective students need some rest, and 2) it would introduce students to the schedule they will probably keep once they attend MIT.

Herms '87 about 9 years ago


You seem to have detected a pattern. Can you identify an underlying algorithm?

A self-perpetuating algorithm, perhaps... One that every administrator in the MIT world must now carry out when making a decision -- leaving only the illusion of free will.

There is one avenue of escape from the algorithm. You must transfer to Harvard!!

Perhaps some intrepid student there is ready to take your place here. Someone living in fear of the dread Harvard College Administrative Board...

Two fewer problems for the MIT and Harvard administrations to worry about. What's not to like?

Freedom about 9 years ago

Herms- For better or worse, the commenter is thinking at a broader level than that. You haven't been at MIT for a few years and witnessed the "revolution" so you don't really understand where he's coming from.

Of course a college without murals is livable. Of course you can be OK with increased dorm security. Of course the expensive mandatory dining plan won't burden students too much. These are in isolation minor events. But the rapid changes point to something deeper.

First, observe that these changes were not done for the students. It was done for political expediency. Let me explain. MIT's (growing) bureaucracy does not want to stick out like a sore thumb from other colleges, because that makes the federal bureaucracy look down on you, and invites all sorts of risks (liability, bad press, reduced funding, stress, etc.). So administrators will push to try to make MIT like other colleges, and of course, like good bureaucrats, they will tell themselves that this helps the students.

The end result is that MIT, once a place for ambitious, eccentric, intelligent students, becomes gray and boring, like the other colleges. And students, instead of seeing themselves as independent people working hard to better themselves, are starting to view themselves as mere children. It's evolving from a hard-core engineering college to an effeminate liberal arts playground with low academic standards.

The older professors and TAs are noticing more substantial patterns: year after year, students are getting whinier, grade inflation is increasing, courses are getting easier, academic standards are decreasing, students are not performing as well in their work.

Further, The Tech, once a cheery source of amusement, has been turning into a depressing mouthpiece for lefty activists. Every other article seems to be about eunuchs (transsexuals), sodomy or rape, stuff that has always existed in history but is being blown up big time right now. There are frequent personal attacks on decent people, and The Tech's staff, though not fundamentally evil, is too soft to understand what's going on.

MIT, once a place of genuine innovation, still has many talented individuals, bright spots, and good places to find yourself. But it is dying.

Freedom about 9 years ago

Let's analyze each of MIT's policy changes in terms of why they happened.

1- Mental health

There were a couple recent unfortunate cases of suicides. But this really shouldn't be a moral panic: whether the suicide rate is higher than other schools is debatable (it certainly isn't higher at a 95 percent confidence level; whether it is higher at a lower confidence level is something Herms and I have debated in the past-- after adjusting for sex MIT's suicide rate doesn't seem too high, but after adjusting for race MIT's suicide rate looks high again). Additionally, one of the victims committed suicide on home leave when suffering from a rare chronic nervous condition. Although the suicide is unfortunate, last I checked MIT is not known to cause chronic nervous problems.

But still, the blemish of suicides attracted bad press, which hurt MIT. It also emotionally affected some students, including editors at The Tech. On the whole, the student body seems far softer and neurotic than in the past.

What was the end result? Professors reduced workload, which brought down MIT's academic standards another notch. And the bureaucracy got another excuse to grow (to increase mental health efforts), even though they are probably not competent enough to address this tricky issue, which is probably caused by a lack of exercise, supportive friendships and life purpose; and by all sorts of stressful non-traditional behavior such as careerism in females.


Freedom about 9 years ago

2- Sexual misconduct hysteria

There are certainly problems on college campuses related to sexual misconduct, as a minority of students choose to engage in a nontraditional hook-up culture that inherently brings risks to everyone involved. But again, this should not be a moral panic: federal statistics from phone surveys show campus sexual assault (broadly defined, including both physical and verbal attacks) has been decreasing slightly over the last thirty years, occuring at a rate of about 0.3 percent.

But progressives tend to selectively zero in on problems to satisfy bureaucrats, and the last few years they have been fighting to increase the size of the bureaucracy to try to fight sexual misconduct. At MIT, they have made dishonest surveys, which count unwanted kisses (as you may see in a movie, or even on C-SPAN as an awkward politician gives a causal kiss) as sexual assault. The issue with this and the "No Means No" stuff is it makes the terrible crime of sexual assault seem like a hearing problem (did she say yes?).

It is also useful to remember that one of the primary purposes of civilization is to bring barbarisms such as rape and sexual assault down to zero. So bringing rape and sexual assault down is a deep question related to crafting a good society, and amateur feminists and bureaucrats are probably not capable of doing this. So I'm deeply skeptical of their proposals, such as replacing the criminal justice system and due process (key cornerstones of Western civilization) with campus tribunals, who tend to have the idea that a female complaint about a male student should be enough to expel the male student, even if there is no evidence that any crime occurred.


Freedom about 9 years ago

What's the end result? As usual, the bureaucracy grows. Students became distracted by "It's On Us" events, which are often filled with gibberish proposals (such as trying to restrict freedom of speech, telling men not to rape, advancing weird feminist theories) that do nothing to solve underlying problems, but instead politicizes everything, which lowers academic standards further. Second, there are bizarre legal obstacles for students. Lawyers are now recommending men not have consensual sex with someone from the same college campus, due to the legal risks caused by a lack of due process. Third, the hysteria itself has probably created both male and female victims-- females who put themselves in bad situations waste their time becoming activists rather than moving on from whatever happened, and brilliant males (such as Walter Lewin) are often libelled and publicly humiliated for what may not be genuine crimes. Some students become social outcasts after being accused of sexual assault for groping females at parties where people grinding on each other is the norm. Social trust decreases, we become distracted from our academic work, we become suspicious of everyone, legal risks increase, the bureaucracy grows, and probably both male and female MIT students are hurt in the end. For every sexual assault that is prevented, there are probably 100 new embittered students, which probably does not create a comfortable educational environment moving forward.

I'll go faster now, because I'm somewhat less familiar with the next few and typing this is taking a long time.


Freedom about 9 years ago

3- Expensive mandatory campus dining

Bureaucracy grows, cost of college grows, students become softer and less independent

4- More dorm security

Bureaucracy grows, cost of college grows, students become softer and less independent

5- Policing of dorm murals

Bureaucracy grows, cost of college grows, students become softer and less independent

6- More students flowing into corporate slave jobs

Students become softer and less independent

7- Males and females rooming together

This increases in sexual misconduct (it becomes harder for students to remain chaste if they're rooming with someone with different chromosomes), bureaucracy grows, cost of college grows, students become softer and less independent

8- Push to eliminate fraternities

Students become softer and less independent

9- Restricted hours for CPW events

This is a side-effect of increased bureaucracy. The bureaucracy didn't really enforce this for a few semesters, showing that they didn't really care about this-- it was just a politically expedient way of giving themselves more work and reducing MIT's liability. End result: students become softer and less independent

Now. I'm not blaming the decline in academic standards and the infantilization of students on anyone in particular. The bureaucrats are just doing their job and responding to incentives from the federal government. The federal government is just not very intelligent, trying to buy up votes by creating moral panics and also responding to incentives from the bureaucracy. The Tech is responding to the infantilization of students, who don't really have the inclination to look at things objectively, and to the politicization in general in the US (if you aren't sufficiently submissive to leftists you will be kicked out of student groups due to pressure from leftist activists who will say your attitudes are "problematic"). Professors are responding to their own set of incentives.

There are no easy solutions to this. People more intelligent than myself are saying I should just let the college system implode, as it exponentially increases in cost and decreases in effectiveness. I long for the long-gone days when liberal arts colleges had you carefully read the classics, and engineering colleges were not a place where you could get straight A's with little effort.

Herms '87 about 9 years ago

POTS is not 'rare.'

"It is estimated that 500,000 Americans suffer from this disorder." D. Robertson, "The Epidemic of Orthostatic Tachycardia and Orthostatic Intolerance," Am. J. Med. Sci. 317, no. 2 (1999).

"It is the most common syndrome of young people seen in autonomic dysfunction clinics." UpToDate, Wolters Kluwer Health, 2015.

500,000/279,000,000 x 11,319 = 20 MIT students suffer from POTS.

(Likewise 38 Harvard students.)

Most patients with POTS survive and recover. Can we identify any exacerbating factors specific to MIT? Such as, unremitting autonomic overstimulation caused by forced proximity to disciplinary employees in one's living environment?

Nancy Ouyang '13 about 9 years ago

Freedom, let's meet up in real life in a public space. You clearly have so much time to write up all these anonymous comments online and waste people's time and energy. You want to criticize feminists and people working to end rape culture who "can't move on", tell it to my face and criticize me because you care about me as a person, not because you're butthurt and are so soft you can't take the Tech writing whatever the heck articles they want to write.

I assume you're intelligent enough to figure out how to contact me using my name and year. I'm not afraid to put my name behind the beliefs I currently have, but you can even keep your precious anonymity if you want.

Freedom about 9 years ago

I don't expect you to understand or respond. Here is my position.

Feminists are a dangerous combination because they are highly valued as people but their ideas are without fail total garbage.

In 1674 nice English women vigorously tried to ban coffee, claiming it was a substance that hurt their sex.

In 1920 American women successfully banned alcohol, claiming it led to wife-beating.

Now they are trying to redefine normal sex as rape. This scheme is insidiously effective: by increasing rape while claiming they're reducing it, feminists successfully create more demand for their efforts to reduce rape. In effect, feminism is a viral, profitable ideology for feminists, but it can't last. Feminists are fighting the gods: no prosperous civilization has ever been feminist, except in its period of decline. And when you fight the gods, you lose in the end. (Consider that liberals are effectively going extinct, having one less child per family than conservatives.)

Your use of the term "rape culture" is a case in point. That term is a way to say people who don't toe the latest party line support rape. People who use that language lack empathy. They are not able to empathize with their elders (all of our grandparents believed in conservative ideas regarding rape-- they did not believe in marital rape, affirmative consent, unwanted kisses as sexual assault, etc.). Radical feminist activists are not able to empathize with most Americans (the majority of Americans do not identify as feminist).

In academia in particular feminists are off their leash. So you may get brownie points for identifying as a feminist and talking about "rape culture." But sorry, you won't get any from me. And once you leave college, and hopefully focus more on yourself, your relationships and your family than these political ideas, you will find your views moderating.

I want to insulate myself as much as possible from feminists, lefties and hippies, since they are a destructive force. They try to cause divorce and break-ups by putting non-rigorous claims of "rape" and "abuse" in people's heads. I don't lose much by disassociating from them anyway: their ideology has minuscule intellectual value.

So, although I'm flattered by your proposal, I reject it as I have little to gain. Listen to the Celtic Woman:

"Listen, my child," you say to me

"I am the voice of your history

Be not afraid, come follow me

Answer my call, and I'll set you free"

Freedom about 9 years ago


Indeed. It's funny how 64 percent of humanities grad students are depressed, and how they happen to be doing one of the most useless jobs in one of the most leftist, bureaucratized environments possible.

But the bureaucracy will not learn that the solution to depression is less leftism, because their salary depends on it.

Herms '87 about 9 years ago

The demographic-adjusted relative risk (RR) of suicide among MIT grad students is less than 1; among MIT undergrad students, it's somewhere around 2.

MIT has very few students -- undergrad or grad -- in the humanities. So, "field of study" doesn't appear to be a factor here.

Freedom about 9 years ago

17- We're speaking at cross purposes. While I'm OK with looking at MIT suicide rates, I don't think they tell us much due to small sample size and selection bias. You say the MIT undergrad RR is about 2, but surely it was about 1 before the recent rash of suicides.

My argument is that there are more striking data points. For instance:

(a) Suicide rates among adolescents and young adults in America nearly tripled between 1952 and 1996.

(b) It is common for PhD students to ponder suicide (there are some stats in that pdf).

(c) A majority of PhD students are "depressed" (see pdf).

So, clearly, there is a pathology on college campuses in general. Is MIT better or worse? We can't say.

My take on the college problem:

(a) Students have an incentive to be depressed, since it gives them an excuse to not do work. At MIT this is caused by Student Support Services.

(b) Depression is not shamed (because one of the hallmarks of progressivism, the official religion of college campuses, is being accepting of people that hurt themselves and their communities, such as felons, pedophiles, sluts, etc.). The idea that "it is OK to not be OK" (as expressed in the latest issue of The Tech), causes people to not be OK.

(c) Students are less able to form intimate bonds with others in a progressive environment (because one of the hallmarks of the progressive revolution is judging relationships based on whether they conform to the current degenerate progressive flavor of the day; rather than judging relationships based on what has worked in practice a la Nichomedean Ethics)

(d) Academia is not necessarily productive (it's not really meant to be after all). A college is like a church, and researchers are like monks.

(e) Academia has grown beyond its natural limits (because the ruling progressives want to create as many progressives as possible via indoctrination in college-- hence the push for everyone to go to college and the push for students to go to grad school).

(f) Because of (d) and (e), traditional academia is dying (fewer jobs, less freedom, etc.) and it's often getting close to corporate and political prostitution.

So it makes sense that college students are depressed. My explanation is simple: Leftism.

Whether MIT's RR is 1 or 1.2 doesn't concern me too much-- we don't know.

Herms '87 about 9 years ago

See generally CDC, "Self-Directed Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements," version 1.0 (2011).

"Categories of suicides within a broad social context:

"'Anomic suicide' - This type of suicide occurs when there is social instability resulting from breakdown of standards and values, regulation is too low. To individuals, life seems aimless.

"'Fatalistic suicide' - When regulation is too strong, the individual sees no hope of change against the oppressive discipline of the society."

And cf. Matt Rocheleau, "Suicide Rate at MIT Higher than National Average," Boston Globe, March 17, 2015.

"Barnhart said the rate of suicides among MIT undergraduates remains above the national average."

Freedom about 9 years ago

"Barnhart said the rate of suicides among MIT undergraduates remains above the national average."

What a terrible chancellor. Throwing MIT under the bus to satisfy her vision of growing the bureaucracy. MIT was more white and more male in the past, which would explain why its suicide rate was higher in the past. She's spinning the situation to make MIT worse than it is, probably mostly due to incompetence. It's sad how innumerate even MIT professors are nowadays.

What a nice coincidence that your vocabulary terms correspond to my analysis. (d), (e), (f) is Fatalistic suicide. (a), (b), (c) is Anomic suicide.

Freedom about 9 years ago

Another reason for suicide (caused by breakdown of genuine relationships): it's illegal to tell someone "you're just here because of affirmative action." So basically it's illegal to tell people the truth. When you can't tell your classmates the truth, social relationships break down. It's also illegal to help women or minorities, because if you do so you're sexist and racist. And it's basically illegal to be friends with women and minorities because if I you do you risk being sexist and racist. Sounds like a great formula for mental health!

Freedom about 9 years ago

It's sad. The people who'd insult me endlessly if I shared my opinions are the people themselves broken by leftism. For example:

A) Liberal: It's sexist for women to have babies! Result: Women reach their late thirties, get wrinkles, marry a crappy husband, spend half their net worth on fertility treatments and have an autistic baby. (Sexy conservatives don't have this problem. They get married earlier and have more children.)

B) Liberal: We need to tell students life is perfect, make college unproductive and worthless, and incentivize depression! Result: 25 percent of college students on psychiatric medication. (Conservatives don't have this problem. They have a substantive moral philosophy that prevents anomic/fatalistic suicide or whatever you want to call it and causes lower rates of mental illness.)

C) Liberal: We need to have expensive mandatory campus dining because students don't know how to buy food. And we need a shiny new athletic center because students need to use a Stairmaster instead of jogging outside. And we need to fund the Black Student Society (even though we wouldn't fund a White Student Society because that would be racist). And so on, times a million. Result: Liberal parents paying sixty thousand a year for private school and college, student loans, etc. (Conservatives are starting to homeschool children and trying to find work-arounds around college.)

D) Liberal: College is too hard for stupid people. Result: Grade inflation, no more challenging classes, college becomes useless.

E) Liberal: We need an equal gender ratio! Result: Total disaster.

F) Liberal: We need equal representation of races! Result: Total disaster.

G) Liberal: We need gays! Result: Homosexuality is used as a battering ram to destroy everything conservatives stand for.

F) Liberal: Rape culture! Result: Less sex and more rape. #FeministsAreUgly because worldwide top Twitter hashtag.

F) upcoming- Liberal: We need trannies! Result: Parents convert their children into a combination of male and female by chopping off body parts.

G) upcoming- Liberal: We need to accept pedophiles! Result: More children abused by pedophiles.

I could go on and on. It's just a disaster everywhere you look. And if you point it out as a conservative you're a bigot sexist racist homophobe who writes too much.

I'm starting to come around to the idea that liberals can't be saved and you just have to contain the collapse.

Herms '87 about 9 years ago

Residential Stress Mapping experiment

In adults age 20-29, the normal resting heart rate ranges from 43 to 98 beats per minute. The most common causes of an elevated HR are

(1) "the normal response to exercise," and

(2) "conditions in which catecholamine release is physiologically enhanced: flight, fright, anger, or stress."

If you map the incidence of tachycardia in the resident-student population here, do you see any geospatial clustering due to recurring exposure to point sources of stress?

Background material: "Sinus Tachycardia," in UpToDate (Wolters Kluwer Health, 2014). Other coontributing causes include: fever; blood-volume depletion; exposure to stimulants (e.g., nicotine, caffeine); and anxiety.

Freedom about 9 years ago

That's interesting, however, it is likely that "recurring incidence to tachycardia" would lower depression and suicide rates. This is what bureaucrats and professors and scientists don't understand. Generally it is not bursts of extreme stress that makes people depressed (that actually lowers depression). Chronic stress is the danger.

Herms '87 about 9 years ago

A footnote on tachycardia:

_ The typical resting HR in male medical students without apparent cardiovascular disease has been reported as 65 to 85 bpm.

_ If you have a resting HR of 100 or more bpm not due to fever, blood-volume depletion, anxiety, or enhanced catecholamine release, you should seek care at your provider's office.

_ Catecholamine release is physiologically enhanced during "fright, flight, anger, or stress." The stress may be acute or chronic.

On health mapping:

"Epidemic. The occurrence in a community ... of health-related events clearly in excess of normal expectancy." (Stedman's, 28th ed.)

As a rule, the response should be directed at any underlying causes or point sources of exposure.

Freedom about 9 years ago

An epidemic of tachycardia might just be an epidemic of people having fun. Unless you're in academia, it's pretty obvious that if you eliminate fun you cause depression.

In general, eliminating small stressors increases mental illness, since it inhibits learning (antifragility). This is one reason mental illness has increased recently, along with mental health expenses-- fun is banned and taxed in Communist environments, and learning alternative viewpoints (such as traditional racism and sexism) is discouraged and usually illegal.