After a donation of $24 million from Fariborz Maseeh ScD ’90 in September 2010, Ashdown House (W1) will rise again as Maseeh Hall this fall. The new dorm space will allow the undergraduate population to grow by about 200 students over the next three years.
Few topics caused as much tension on campus in 2010 as the ever-changing House Dining Plan, scheduled to go into effect Fall 2011. In March 2010, the Division of Student Life (DSL) formed the House Dining Advisory Group (HDAG), committed to the creation of a new dining plan with the hope to eliminate the $600,000 deficit from House Dining and to offer more options for student dining.
In late 2009, MIT announced its plans to save $130 million over the next two years. This past year marked a major move in the implementation of the recommendations made by the Institute-Wide Planning Task Force, a group charged to recommend budget-cutting activities across all departments and divisions at MIT.
MIT often finds itself connected to stories of national and international significance, and 2010 was no exception. Wikileaks, an organization which publishes leaked documents online, found itself in the middle of a global political firestorm after publishing documents detailing American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies the world over. The alleged leaker responsible for handing over these documents to Wikileaks? Bradley Manning, an Army private who had visited Pika in summer 2009 and came again to MIT in January 2010.
The efforts of various academic task forces over the past several years have led to major changes in MIT’s curriculum, including the introduction of Course 20 as Biological Engineering in 2006 and the elimination of double degrees in 2009. This year, these changes continued with the implementation of a new HASS system, and a new degree program combining Courses VI and VII that will begin accepting students next fall.
Phi Beta Epsilon can resolve the debate over their expulsion from the Interfraternity Council and whether their actions constitute hazing by releasing the document detailing the incident in question to public review. This document, describing membership education activities for the pledge class of 2013, is the key piece of evidence in determining whether PBE’s activities qualify as hazing.
MIT is a different place today than it was one year ago. On a global level, MIT is connecting to the rest of the world in ways it never has before. On a local level, MIT itself is evolving — faced with new financial realities and a need to remain competitive with peer schools, the Institute has seen significant changes to important aspects of academics and student life. Many of 2010’s changes will define MIT for years to come.
This past Thanksgiving I, like many of you, passed through Boston Logan Airport in order to get home. Prior to my trip, I had been looking forward with a mixture of giddiness and dread to the opportunity of being subjected to an “enhanced pat down,” an experience I hoped would be illuminating, if not mortifying.
What with earthquakes, volcanoes, and oil leaks, 2010 had almost enough disasters to make The Day After Tomorrow seem closer to everyday life. The arts and entertainment world chose to confront these events with creations of both truth and fantastical fairy tale, dark or otherwise. Perhaps the fact that a Picasso painting sold for 106.5 million dollars illustrates this strange but successful marriage between substance and imagination.
If sports can strike awe in the collective imagination of the spectator, the player, or the manager in moments of triumph, the day after can be pretty damn good, too. The Yankees lost 22-0 to the Cleveland Indians the night before my school year began in 2004. For the entirety of the next day, I had, and seized, the opportunity to warn the Yankees fans at my high school of their team’s impending doom. As we began our classes, each student had to sign up for a day to give a presentation on current events in social studies class. My chosen date was October 28. By sheer luck, this was to become the day after the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. Never mind that the momentous 2004 election was only a week away, the title slide of my presentation featured a picture of the euphoric celebration inside Busch Stadium. Let’s take one last opportunity to savor the biggest and best sports moments of 2010:
MIT Athletics once again had an outstanding year in 2010. Several teams ended their years nationally ranked, and many others earned NEWMAC Championships and went on to compete for national championships. Here’s a look at some of the notable achievements of MIT’s teams from the past year.