MIT worked toward revamping its General Institute Requirements in 2008. Possible curriculum reforms would simplify the structure of the HASS requirement, add flavors to core science classes, and introduce pilot versions of broad-themed humanities classes geared towards freshman.
Several important events relating to changes in housing policies and hacking incidents affected students in the past year. Student perception of being omitted in several important decisions led to the creation of a student group voicing these concerns. A newly formed Task Force attempted to tackle some of these concerns and increase student involvement in the decision-making process.
I chose MIT because of the stories: the great cannon heist, the police car, the student-run live-action role playing club, the simple trust that was placed in the intelligence and competence of the students — in letting them choose their own living groups that kept up their own cultures, often decades old, in letting them have a voice in any decisions affecting them. I guess I was imagining a sort of Utopia — 5000 of the funkiest, most brilliant minds from the entire country and around the world molding a homeland of their own in which to learn and live.
Album sales might be decreasing every year, but that doesn’t mean anything for 2008. Whether you bought them on special edition vinyl, downloaded them, or streamed them off of Seeqpod, the following albums probably made it into your playlist at some point during the course of the year. The past twelve months have given us plenty of important debut albums, career-shifting solo efforts, and also a good handful of reliable releases from well-established acts. You know it’s a great year when campus geeks Vampike Weekend take the world by storm within months of the release of Coldplay’s piéce-de-résistance, “Viva la vida, or Death and All His Friends.”
Playing trumpet with the masters of jazz (Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy, Quincy Jones) by twenty, Freddie Hubbard was key in the development of both free jazz and jazz fusion. A protege of Miles Davis, Hubbard brought a new fire to the instrument with chop-busting high notes and a controlled, unique tone. He participated in innovative work both as a sideman (Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage, Oliver Nelson’s The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz) and soared as a frontman (Hub Cap, Ready for Freddie). In the 70’s, Hubbard signed on to the new Creed Taylor label CTI, going on to produce some of his most famous albums: Red Clay, Straight Life, First Light, and others. Hubbard continued playing to general acclaim for several decades, even after suffering an upper lip injury in 1992 that would largely remove him from the scene (an injury tragically brought on by Hubbard’s unrelenting lip technique). Hubbard died on the morning of December 29, 2008, at his home in California. He is survived by his wife, Briggie, and his son, Duane.—<i>Samuel Markson</i>
Two thousand and eight saw an explosion of student music groups and student-organized concerts on campus. Dormitories cleaned out their basements and put on shows to increasingly eager crowds. Kicking off the year with Bexxxley Roxxx Some More, an epic concert at Bexley Hall in February 2008, soon other dorms and frats followed suit in a chain of concerts to remember. The growing music scene encouraged bands like Fortran, The Pears, Space Faces, Chicken Scratch, and Pesticide Red to form. The end of 2008 saw the birth of many new bands as fresh talent from the freshman class came in. The advent of WMBR Live also brought concerts to campus, encouraging bands to write new material and put on riveting shows. Here’s a look at some memorable shows from the year!
Two thousand and eight saw a number of impressive performances from MIT’s student athletes, both noteworthy individual achievements and successful seasons for several varsity teams. Across all MIT athletics, the Institute set a new record for Academic All-American honors with 11 selections for the 2007-2008 seasons.
The sports world has certainly provided its share of memorable moments in the past year. From the Super Bowl last February, to the Olympics in August, to, well, the Super Bowl again last weekend, here are some of the biggest headlines from 2008. In no particular (somewhat chronological) order: