Approximately 30 students gathered yesterday afternoon to protest the administration’s handling of controversies involving students. While the majority of the protest was focused on the Star A. Simpson ’10 arrest, the discussion also touched on administrative reactions to the sodium fire on the Charles River and the felony charges filed against hackers found in the MIT Faculty Club.
Thank you for your note regarding Star Simpson and the incident at Logan Airport. Let me first say that I regret how the matter is being characterized in the media. Many of the reports are unfair to Ms. Simpson and do not reflect the facts. We do not believe Ms. Simpson is a dangerous or malicious person or that she intended to cause harm. I appreciate how tough it is to read these stories.
Star A. Simpson ’10, wearing a circuit board that lit up and was connected to a battery, was arrested at gunpoint at Logan International Airport the morning of Friday, Sept. 21 after the device was mistaken for a bomb. Simpson was charged with possession of a hoax device and was released on $750 bail the same day; her pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 29, 2007 at 9 a.m. in East Boston District Court.
MIT is cooperating fully with the State Police in the investigation of an incident at Logan Airport this morning involving Star Simpson, a sophomore at MIT. As reported to us by authorities, Ms. Simpson’s actions were reckless and understandably created alarm at the airport.
Three dozen Chinese companies sent massive quantities of steroids, human-growth hormone and other illicit bodybuilding drugs to a sprawling underground network of distributors throughout the United States, authorities said in five states on Monday, proclaiming a breakthrough in the largest steroid enforcement action in U.S. history.
A suicide bomber blew himself up Monday at a banquet intended to be a reconciliation feast between provincial officials and former Sunni insurgents in Diyala province, killing 16 people and wounding at least 28.
He said there were no homosexuals in Iran — not one — and that the Nazi slaughter of 6 million Jews should not be treated as fact, but theory, and therefore open to debate and more research.
They had not expected a strike this year. And when they walked out midway through the morning shift on Monday, the workers at the General Motors pickup truck plant here had no idea how long their walkout would last.
As protesters filled the streets of Myanmar’s cities in greater numbers than ever on Monday, swelling the crowds in the country’s largest city to an estimated 100,000, the government issued its first warning that it might take action against protesting Buddhist monks.
The first full day of autumn was yesterday, but from the many sightings of shorts and T-shirts on campus, you wouldn’t have known. Don’t put away those summer clothes yet as more heat is in store the next couple of days. Strong southwest flow will make it breezy and transport an air mass more characteristic of the middle of summer over the area. In fact, high temperatures may approach record levels today. You should also notice the humidity gradually creeping up, but given the recent dry spell it should not become too soupy.
I am a senior studying physics living at Senior House. I am writing you out of concern about the incident involving MIT sophomore Star A. Simpson ’10 at Logan airport on Friday. While I do not know Star personally, I do share the concerns of her friends and acquaintances here at Senior House — namely, that MIT has chosen not to be explicitly supportive of her at this time.
Star A. Simpson ’10 made an honest mistake when she wore a glowing circuit board to Logan International Airport. State police responded reasonably to a perceived threat, and they quickly determined that Simpson’s attire posed no threat at all. She was cooperative, and they were professional.
I applaud MIT’s decision to label Ms. Simpson’s actions as “reckless.” Any statement in her defense by MIT would have been viewed as arrogant and irresponsible. The circuit board worn on her shirt with LEDs in the shape of a star may be viewed as a cute, quirky means of self expression on MIT’s campus. However, the same item worn to Logan International Airport is a much more serious matter. Sadly, in this post-9/11 world, she is fortunate that she was not seriously injured or killed by law enforcement officers misinterpreting her “art.” To assume that the general public and law enforcement can accurately determine whether such electronic devices have any intent to harm is unrealistic and dangerous. I am certain many other MIT alumni share my appreciation for Ms. Simpson’s zeal for creative self-expression, while at the same time shake our heads in pity for her lack of common sense.
MIT has one of the most notoriously rich campus cultures in the ’verse. I still have a photo from Campus Preview Weekend of a Ghostbuster standing at the Massachusetts Ave. crosswalk as proof of the fact. The unfortunate side effect? An onslaught of incoming freshmen who are under the impression that the MIT of lore and the MIT of daily life are one and the same.
I am normally dizzy with elation following free giveaways. The feeling of possessing something I did not have to pay for is so overwhelming that I usually end up with an afternoon headache. Unfortunately, the souvenirs from the recent MIT Community Picnic left me with no warm, fuzzy feelings. I was appalled by the environmentally destructive yellow tuckus cushions.