Letter from the Editor

Highlighting communication in a time of distrust

Dear readers,

To begin, I would like to thank you for helping us carry out a mission that was laid out so long ago: to serve the MIT community. Whatever your role is at MIT, you have helped us — by reading, by informing, by writing, by criticizing, and by simply being a part of this diverse ecosystem. We hope we can continue to earn your trust as we diligently share the facts, experiences, and opinions that affect each and every one of us.

It has been a trying year for the nation as well as for MIT. I don’t expect the next year to be any easier. If there’s anything we can learn from the past year, it’s the importance of communication between students and administration, liberals and conservatives, Star Wars fans and Trekkies. I strongly believe that everyone only wants the best for MIT, even if they have different ideas for what that may be, and I also believe that The Tech is well-situated to help bridge those differences.

We work toward this goal through every branch of The Tech: news, by providing facts and context; opinion, by offering windows into different points of view; campus life, by sharing stories of TFP; photo, by capturing pictures worth a thousand words; and arts and sports, by exploring the many exploits of our talented community.

Times have changed, and The Tech has changed: our staff, for example, comprises far more women and partakes far fewer fermented beverages than when The Tech was conceived in 1881. I think we can change still more, and I invite everyone who’s ever had an opinion on something we’ve done to join us for dinner at 6 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month, and provide feedback on our coverage and our techniques.

What can you expect from us this year? I share with you the following list of our goals. You can consider them Lunar New Year’s resolutions, and I hope they’ll prove more readily preserved than their Gregorian counterparts. As an organization, The Tech will:

— Better utilize our unique position in the middle of one the most vibrant innovative communities in the world, by, for example, interviewing more MIT professors, researchers, and students engaged in fields related to pressing world topics;

— Write more editorials and communicate the thoughts that inform our news coverage;

— Engage in more outreach to members of the MIT community who would like to share their voices;

— Better support the MIT arts, music, and sports communities by providing more coverage of the long-term work that goes into preparing for performances and competitions and by better informing readers of events before they occur.

We live in a time when both reliance on and distrust of media runs high, when opinions diverge, and when words printed in pixels can reach the other side of the earth in an instant. It’s understandable that some may be reluctant to come forward and publicly share what they know and think. But it is especially in this time that open communication becomes indisposable, so that rumors do not cause undue panic or antagonism. For our part, The Tech seeks to understand, not to intrude; to inform, not to impose; to analyze, not to dictate. 

The “world moves, and it moves both very swift and very slow,” to borrow from the sentiments of my favorite immortal, golden-haired Elf of Middle-earth. We remain committed to keeping you up to date with rapid developments and how they affect you, as well as keeping track of promises made and long-term projects undertaken.

And finally, welcome to Volume 137. We are, as always, at your service.

 Vivian Zhong 19

Editor in Chief