On June 5 Peter A. Diamond PhD ’63 announced that he would withdraw his nomination to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Senate Republicans had repeatedly blocked President Barack Obama’s nomination of Diamond, an MIT professor of economics and the 2010 Nobel Prize winner. Diamond explained his decision and delivered an indictment to partisan politics in his June 6 New York Times opinion column “When a Nobel Prize Isn’t Enough.” Obama first named Diamond as a candidate to fill one of three long-standing vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board in April 2010.
This past Wednesday, Alec C. Lai ’13 submitted a letter to the Undergraduate Association (UA) and undergraduate student body, resigning from his positions as UA secretary general and vice president-elect. Lai expressed general discontent with what he perceived as a lack of respect and cooperation within the student government, particularly aimed at authority figures whom he considered “megalomaniac[al].”
Former British Foreign Secretary David W. Miliband SM ’90 kicked off a week-long visit to MIT with a roundtable discussion yesterday hosted by the Department of Political Science. Entitled “Contemporary East Asia,” the discussion featured Course XVII Professors Taylor M. Fravel, Richard J. Samuels PhD ’80, and Edward S. Steinfeld. Miliband will continue to meet with Institute faculty and students for the remainder of the week as part of his brief tenure as a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow in Residence.
At the Undergraduate Association (UA) Senate meeting on Monday, March 28, UA President Vrajesh Y. Modi ’11 proposed a total overhaul of the UA Constitution to address internal organizational issues, in conjunction with 42 UAS 14.2, the Bill to Unify the Undergraduate Student Voice at MIT. The UA passed a bill proposed by Senate Speaker Jonté M. Craighead ’13 — 42 UAS 14.1 — which formed an ad-hoc committee to review the current structure of the UA and to consider the changes proposed in 14.2. Together, the bills may mark the beginning of the end of the UA Senate.
From March 16 to March 17, students cast ballots not only to elect the next Undergraduate Association’s (UA) president and vice president, but also to respond to the dining referendum sponsored by UA Senator Shuang Chen ’13 of Simmons Hall. A vast majority elected Allan E. Miramonti ’13 and Alec C. Lai ’13, the only official running ticket, to the presidency; likewise, a majority of students expressed mild to strong disapproval of both the new dining plan recommended by the House Dining Advisory Group (HDAG) as well as the process by which HDAG proposed recommendations for the plan.
Beginning March 16, 2011, the MIT undergraduate student body will have three days in which to vote for Allan E. Miramonti ’13 and Alec C. Lai ’13, uncontested candidates for president and vice president of the Undergraduate Association, respectively. Miramonti is currently a Senator from Random Hall, and Lai is Next House President and UA Secretary General.
John S. Reed ’61 (chairman of the MIT Corporation), David S. Ferriero (10th Archivist of the United States and former associate director of MIT Libraries), and Phillip L. Clay PhD ’75 (senior advisor to the president and former MIT Chancellor) are among the notable speakers selected to talk at the Next Century Convocation on April 10. The event, in honor of MIT’s sesquicentennial, will be held at the Boston Convention Center. According to the MIT150 Convocation invitation, “[these speakers] exemplify the qualities [MIT] values.” The announcement adds that “they can speak to these themes and the importance of MIT’s role in setting an example for the nation and the world.”