If you are a female MIT student with the last name Wu, Huang, or Chen, you may have received an email in the past two weeks with the subject line “亞州精英 Outstanding Asian.” The email offered $50,000 in compensation for an Asian egg donor, ideally a “21-year-old Chinese MIT student, top in her class,” with “several awards in high school and university.” This concerning request is actually a permutation of an advertisement that The Tech has run twice in the past decade, once in 2012 and once in 2017. The ad, paid for and submitted by the same individual, has not changed much over the years, though the most recent email iteration has swapped out “genius” for “outstanding” and more than doubled the compensation from $20,000 to $50,000. Both the 2012 and 2017 appearances of the ad disturbed MIT community members for its racial stereotyping, tactless wording, and lack of acknowledgment of the medical risks involved with egg donation.
Fiona and Yara presented the most detailed and structured platform, tackling issues from democratizing governance to equity to mental health to economic insecurity in detailed point-by-point plans. We were impressed that their plans are layered in achievability and provide options under various fall semester scenarios.
For international students attending MIT on tenuous student visas or fearful of an increasingly dangerous situation at home, the resources required and risks associated with leaving campus far exceed the support provided by administration.
The changes reflect a misdiagnosis of the issues that affect food affordability and accessibility on campus. Rather than assessing students’ eating habits directly, DSL administrators are using meal swipes as a proxy for meal consumption on campus.
The vast bulk of the world’s most important problems and most interesting questions exist in the physical realm rather than the digital one, and computation shines best when used as a tool for facing these problems.