Chaplain Robert M. Randolph came to MIT in 1979 as an ordained minister and former chaplain at Dana Hall School in Wellesley. He served as an associate dean working as the head of counseling programs until he was appointed as Chaplain to the Institute in 2007. The Tech had a chance to sit down with Dean Randolph to discuss religion at MIT.
With nearly 30 ASA-recognized religious student groups on campus, the MIT community is teeming with religious diversity. But, most of these groups have less than 30 members who regularly attend their events, and some groups are no longer active on campus or are not ASA-recognized. According to Robert M. Randolph, Chaplain to the Institute, their presence on campus has been generally consistent. With so many groups, however, it is difficult to talk to everyone, and a number of groups did not respond to requests from The Tech.
At the end of the survey, students were invited to write about their thoughts and experiences with religion at MIT. We selected the best comments and stories from the survey to fill this page. To publish all the comments would require several pages in an issue of The Tech, so these responses represent just a small sample of the nearly 400 answers we received.
Nominees for UA officer positions were announced Monday evening. At a meeting this coming Tuesday, the UA Council will vote to officially appoint the nominees. Excluding the Chief of Staff, the nominees (see sidebar) were selected from an initial pool of about 40 students who applied for the 19 positions posted online at http://re-invent.mit.edu/apply, 20 of which were mostly interviewed by UA President Jonté D. Craighead ’13 and Vice President Michael P. Walsh ’13 in consultation with relevant committee members. The chief of staff’s main responsibility is chairing the Nominations Committee, which includes “soliciting applications for representatives to Institute Committees, interviewing candidates, and selecting a slate of nominees,” according to the UA Constitution.
Chief of Staff
There is good news for those on the summer housing waitlist. 77 people, mostly from MacGregor, have declined their given housing as of Wednesday. The bad news is that the waitlist only includes students who did not get into Senior House, Bexley, or Random, but don’t want MacGregor, according to director of housing Dennis J. Collins.
ATHENS, Greece — With Greece still rudderless after inconclusive elections, the leader of the Socialist party indicated Thursday that he might be able to establish common ground with the leader of the moderate Democratic Left Party and try to form a government that would extricate the country from a deepening political crisis that has angered its foreign creditors and roiled global markets.
BERLIN — The outlines of a potential compromise in Europe’s battle between deficit-cutting austerity and policies to promote growth has begun to take shape. The question is whether the kind of cautious measures palatable to Germany, austerity’s champion, will do enough to combat the Continent’s imbalances and do it soon enough to put its weaker countries on more solid economic footing.
WASHINGTON — The first meeting between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin as the leaders of their respective countries was supposed to be an ice-breaker, a moment for two outsize figures to put behind them some of the friction that surrounded the Russian elections two months ago.
WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday approved sweeping legislation to cut $310 billion from the deficit over the next decade — much of it from programs for the poor — and to shift some of that savings to the Pentagon to stave off automatic military spending cuts scheduled for next year.
After a couple days of clouds and rain, the sun will return just in time for the weekend. As a low pressure system exits the region today, lingering showers should be limited to this morning with the skies clearing as we move into the evening hours. Tomorrow, an upper level ridge and surface high pressure will build over New York and the off the mid-Atlantic coast, respectively.
HONG KONG — As China’s leaders have been preoccupied with a political struggle leading up to a once-in-a-decade leadership change this autumn, there are increasing signs that the Chinese economy may be running into trouble.
Asking whether or not religion conflicts with science is too broad a question. Of course there are certain religions that conflict with science; Christian fundamentalism, with its claims of God creating the world in six days and the human race springing from a woman tempted by a talking snake, obviously conflicts with well-established science. Yet there are many other religions which do not conflict with science. As a Catholic, I have not once encountered a belief held by the Church that contradicts anything that I have learned during my time in high school or time here as a physics major at MIT.
The Tech’s religion survey covered a range of questions about the religious views of MIT students; everything from “How religious are you?” to “How religious is MIT?” and “Is religion difficult to reconcile with science?” Good questions all, but it is the last that is the most interesting.
Recently President Obama has come under fire from both the left and the right for politicizing the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, including a major campaign advertisement a speech from Afghanistan timed to the anniversary of the raid, and a campaign press-blitz intended to cement the decision as a ‘gutsy call.’ In the words of the campaign ad: “suppose the [SEALs] had been … killed, the downside would have been horrible for him.” Yes indeed, when American servicemen are killed, the political fallout is just awful.
Despite the predictions of a diminished Putin and a shaky Russia in the near future, Putin seems to be fine and to be defying those very predictions. He has certainly demonstrated that he can maintain himself at the top of a gigantic country through turbulent times and difficulties, and has proved to be a master engineer of his own destiny. He is now ready to start on the final phase of his craftily concocted comeback — or perhaps not so final should he decide to run again in 2018, which is very possible, even likely.
The advice not to judge a book by its cover proves wise in the case of Alex Rosenberg’s latest tome. A fetching title and subtitle, which seem to fly out of the page from a Big-Bangish burst of white over the background of a colorful deep-space image, promise hours of thoughtful and imaginative reading about how freethinkers can enjoy life without resort to nonsense. It’s a beautiful, exciting cover, for what turns out to be a rather dull and overall underwhelming book. The book starts strong, by boldly stating its goal, namely answering the “unavoidable questions” in life. It also demarcates its audience: “This is a book for atheists,” we are told, for “people who are comfortable with the truth about reality.” It is certainly not for “people who believe in religion,” not even for “just doubters and agnostics” that are still undecided. No. It’s solely for those who “have moved past that point” and know for certain that “belief in God is on par with belief in Santa Claus.”
Dustin R. Katzin ’12 is a quintessential MIT renaissance scholar, whose impressively diverse achievements are a testament to the remarkable breadth of MIT education and simultaneously set stratospheric standards for the rest of us. A scientist and artist in one, in the four short years of college, Dustin has managed not only to complete a double major in physics and mathematics, dazzle his peers with musical artistry and stay involved in myriad other extracurriculars, but also to have fun while doing it. His crowning artistic achievement is Schrödinger’s Cat: a Musical Journey into the Strange World of Quantum Mechanics, a programmatic orchestral work that was premiered by MITSO last Friday. I sat down with Dustin to talk about music and life at MIT.
Remember being five and giggling about clumsy characters and silly scenes such as a vampire not seeing himself in the mirror while brushing his teeth, an orphan under a bed sheet trying to scare away a guest, or even a vampire chilling out with stoners before sucking their blood and perhaps inviting Alice Cooper to his house later that week?
Like many MIT students, Wyatt L. Ubellacker ’13 is going to be around campus this summer, doing a UROP in Mechanical Engineering. When late June comes around, however, Ubellacker will venture out to an unlikely midsummer destination: Omaha, Nebraska, the site of the USA Swimming Olympic Trials. The Tech talked to Wyatt about his ongoing preparations for the trials and his experiences swimming at MIT.
Mike A. Nackoul aims for the 2016 Olympics in Rio Junior earns bronze in the National Collegiate Weightlifting Championships for weight class
How can you balance being a world-class weightlifter while studying mechanical engineering at MIT?
You don’t often hear rugby associated with MIT, but for the 30 players on the MIT Men’s Rugby team, it’s something that brings them together. Started in 1949, the club is one of the oldest in Boston and the founding core of Boston’s Super League club. A mixture of different countries, languages, and styles of play, the team has pulled together, seeking to play at their top level at all times. For the past four months, men’s rugby has been practicing and preparing to defend the Division III NERFU (New England Rugby Football Union) Cup. Whether playing in snow, sleet, or sun, the team knows that this is their chance to retain their championship and prove that they can play Division II rugby.
The National Taekwondo Collegiate Championships were hosted by MIT Sport Taekwondo on April 7 and 8 with a record breaking 601 competitors. Although it was a difficult task to organize such a large tournament, the team, led by head coach Dan Chuang and captains Seth “Matt” Weinberg G, Erika Lee ’12, and Tara P. Sarathi ’12, had a strong showing and received second in the novice and championship divisions, as well as second place overall with a total of 49 points.
Baseball is a game of unwritten rules. Don’t steal bases when you have a big lead. Don’t bunt to break up a no-hitter. Retaliate when one of your teammates is hit by a pitch. It is understood that once you get to The Show, you abide by these rules. There is no need to speak of them to the media, to your teammates, or to anyone else, for that matter. This is what made Cole Hamels’ recent admission to intentionally plunking rookie phenom Bryce Harper all the more alarming.
Gospel Choir is one of MIT’s Christianity-based music singing groups. Founded over 35 years ago, their 30-some members come from a a variety of Christian backgrounds. The group provides an opportunity to practice while they preach, with prayer and scripture readings during rehearsals.
Last weekend, the biggest names in Internet fame, academia, and entrepreneurship descended upon MIT for the third installment of ROFLCon, a biennial celebration of web culture. From accidental celebrities such as Scumbag Steve and Chuck Testa to researchers like hacker anthropologist Biella Coleman and MIT’s own Ethan Zuckerman, a diverse cast of guests came together to unite under the common banner of “the Internets.” Prior to the keynote speech, event co-founder Christina Xu put it succinctly: “One out of eight people in this room has done something crazy on the Internet.”