Media Lab Open Agriculture Initiative closed over allegations of scientific misrepresentation and environmental harm
The New York Times reported in October that Zuber “halted OpenAg activities, pending completion of ongoing assessments.” The Initiative was already mostly closed prior to its complete termination in April.
A complaint filed May 15 on behalf of the UA Council by UA President Danielle Geathers ’22, forwarded to The Tech, prompted the decision. The complaint called JudBoard to cease all activity and finalize its previously incomplete bylaws by May 29.
Virtual commencement will take place noon EDT May 29.
Core values for outside engagements include transparency; being worthy of a good reputation; honesty and integrity; respect for community members and human rights; “promoting diversity, inclusion and equity”; “pursuing and advancing knowledge with scientific integrity”; and “educat[ing] and foster[ing] the advancement” of all community members.
IS&T is making Microsoft Teams available to “help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 and best support MIT community members as they engage in activities remotely.”
71% of student respondents described their overall physical health as “excellent” or “good,” compared to 55% who described their mental health as such. When asked how many days in the past week they got enough sleep to feel rested, 20% of student and 32% of faculty and staff respondents indicated fewer than three days.
If only a portion of the student body is on campus, departments could offer “different classes for remote and in-person students with more emphasis on individual coaching and guest speakers for remote students.” Remote and in-person students could also be subject to different grading policies.
Only 26% of on-campus and 24% of off-campus undergraduate respondents “agree strongly” that they “feel like part of the community at MIT,” compared to 41% of respondents in the 2019 Undergraduate Enrolled Student Survey.
MIT Medical is “bumping up” its staff to be able to conduct contact tracing — which Stuopis called “the most critical public health offering that we have” — by contacting those who have tested positive for the virus, discovering who they may have had contact with, testing those people, and asking those people to self-isolate.
“Unfortunately, the most pressing concerns cited by MIT and other institutions of higher education were not addressed” in the finalized regulations, Whittle and Dahleh wrote.
Ku: The impact that I hope I’ve had the most on MIT is through my work on 6.006 and making it a better class for people and a little more standard. We’ve cut down on some material that probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place and expanded [the class] to teach material that I think is much more useful.
Topics covered included evolving knowledge about COVID-19, academic preparations for the fall, staffing, residential continuity, and reopening campus research.
Reif wrote in the task force opening charge that the task force will draw from “lessons” from the pandemic to help imagine MIT’s future. Some goals that Reif outlined for the Institute were to be safer and more efficient, sustainable, inclusive, equitable, affordable, and financially resilient.
Geathers, Chen discuss increasing diversity, prioritizing student concerns, and responding to COVID-19
Geathers: We all want to solve the same problem at MIT, and the creation of the Diversity Council will really get the leaders of these organizations to the table.
Geer wrote that CAPD is currently “exploring” what the application process for students will look like.
The Registrar’s Office “will be in touch about the distribution of physical diplomas when additional information is available,” Trachy wrote.
The last day of classes is May 12.
Fiona Chen ’21 and Yara Komaiha ’21 also ran for president and vice president respectively in the first contested UA presidential election since 2017.