Opinion letter to the editor

Senior House residents respond to Chancellor Barnhart

Dear Chancellor Barnhart,

Your June 12th letter to us states that every Senior House resident must apply for readmission to Senior House and that the readmission process will be “very selective.” We agree that it is appropriate to remove from Senior House anyone who has violated an MIT rule or actively, repeatedly, and affirmatively encouraged rule-breaking behavior. Removing individuals for those reasons fits the “very selective” readmission criterion. However, it would be entirely inappropriate to prevent any of the rest of us — the overwhelming majority of Senior House residents — from returning home.

In light of your letter published in The Tech on June 29th and to ensure that the Senior House readmission process is transparent and legitimate, we request your public, unequivocal, and timely reassurance that

  1. All Senior House residents who apply for readmission and who have violated no MIT rule will be allowed to return to residency this fall, and
  2. At least two students (perhaps some combination of student representatives from outside and inside Senior House) will be involved in every step of the readmission process.

We have chosen to live in Senior House because we've found a community here that provides support we have not been able to find on other parts of campus—not because we were interested in drugs.  (None of us have participated in or condone hard drug use in the dorm.) We are committed to building a community that promotes healthy, responsible choices; supports all residents; and welcomes differences.  This commitment includes welcoming every Pilot 2021 freshman and New House transfer. 

We want to emphasize that there are many more Senior House residents who share our perspective but have not had the opportunity to sign this letter on such short notice.

We have copied all signatories to demonstrate our transparency and legitimacy, and are sharing our letter with The Tech and with our student government representatives. We hope The Tech will publish this without editing it.

We count on you to treat us fairly and provide the same option that the administration affords to our undergraduate peers in every other MIT living group every year: to return to our chosen MIT home this fall.

Thank you.

Phoebe Cai, 2018

Carla Pinzón Gaytán, 2018

Andrea Gonzalez, 2018

Danielle Hecht, 2019

Jacob Higgins, 2019

Jordan Isler, 2019

Cory Johnson, 2018

Marlo Johnson, 2019

Amanda Ke, 2018

Nikhil Kunapuli, 2018

Megan Levin, 2018

Sarah Melvin, 2018

Sienna Ramos, 2018

Kenneth Vieira, 2019

Wendy Wei, 2018

Mark Yang, 2018

Ingrid Zhang, 2019

YiYu Zhang, 2018