Problematic Postering: Why You Need to Care About Policies, Practices, and People
I understand that not everyone will agree with the message or method of the postering campaign, and I accept this fact and respect it. Despite the controversy behind the postering campaign, I remain supportive of its intentions.
The Boston Marathon Bombings, ten years later
Through this tragedy, the city revealed its true character that has manifested itself time and time again: a place of adaptability, resilience, and heart.
Vote ‘yes’ on recall, and other thoughts about student advocacy
The amount of active harm Spicer has done in the process of trying to accomplish his goals on the freedom of expression massively outweighs any benefit which could have been gained by students.
MIT Reflections: Does MIT fulfill the values it claims?
Black students entered the event to demonstrate that we will not be silenced and to ensure our experiences are not sanitized for the comfort of others. This effort was organized in response to malicious events that occurred during the first week of classes, but Black people on campus deal with nearly constant affronts that spur our organizing including daily racial aggressions, traumatizing encounters with MIT police, and years-long deferrals on meaningful action to address our needs. What happened the first week of classes, detailed below, is both symbolic and symptomatic of larger issues of anti-Blackness within the Institute.
Student leaders call for real recourse NOW!
To deal with incidents of harassment and discrimination like this, the institute currently presents Institute Harassment and Discrimination Response (IDHR) as the only path for recourse, stating that it is indeed trusted by the grad population. How can this be the case when a survey run by the Association of American Universities reports that 39.4% of grad students reported experiencing harassing behavior, yet less than 1% utilized IDHR?
Posters protesting problematic protection of free expression miss the point
Apparently a very small number of advocates, upset with last year’s Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Freedom of Expression and the passage of the MIT Statement on Freedom of Expression and Academic Freedom in December, put up posters on campus to protest what they saw was problematic protection of free expression. Their efforts were, no doubt, well-intentioned, but they were, shall we say, strategically questionable.
MIT, it’s time to support your police officers
Since November, the MIT Police Association has distributed more than 6,000 flyers to students and faculty. Standing outside campus interrupting you as you make your way to class is not something we want to do. But unfortunately, it has become our reality. The response from faculty and students has been overwhelming — thank you! However, the school and Chief DiFava continue to show zero respect or support to rank-and-file officers.
MIT GSU’s proposed grievance procedure offers solution to broken advising system
The following stories were collected from seven Master’s and/or PhD program alumni who endured severe and prolonged bullying from the same advisor at MIT. Their experiences span 14 years, from when the first of them joined the group to when the last left. All of them suffered deep injury to not only their careers and wellbeing, but also the scientific rigor of their research. By silencing dissent, shutting down inquiry, and demanding that data be massaged to fit pre-existing theories, this advisor and his unchecked abuse directly threaten MIT’s fundamental mission and its reputation for expanding the bounds of human knowledge. These alumni do not share their stories to disparage the Institute, but rather to highlight the failures of current policies in responding to cases of advisor abuse. They implore the MIT administration to listen to grad workers and accept the MIT GSU’s proposed grievance procedure for harassment, discrimination, and bullying. This change would offer grad workers suffering advisor abuse real protection and recourse, thus making MIT a better place for both researchers and research.
Strong unions are a force for economic and racial justice
Nearly 60 years ago, a quarter-million people rallied together for the historic “March on Washington,” where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. What’s sometimes forgotten about the march, though, is that it was actually called the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” The demands of the march included an end to segregation and the protection of voting rights, alongside an increase to the federal minimum wage and a federal jobs program to train and employ all unemployed workers. It was understood that ending poverty — with decent wages and full employment — was essential to achieving racial equality in practice.
A one-time payment can’t address an ongoing crisis
On Oct. 19, MIT’s administration sent an email announcing a “special one-time payment” of $1,500, pre-tax, for some eligible employees, which MIT will provide in response to concerns about inflation and the financial challenges it has posed. We are grateful for the payment; however, MIT employees need real relief in the form of a cost-of-living adjustment to our salaries.
IDHR alone won’t protect us: Creating an MIT that works for us all requires a fair contract
The current process for recourse secures all power in the hands of the administration. We, as student-workers and victims in these situations, deserve a clearly laid out procedure where we are empowered to speak out about our grievances and supported throughout the process to reach a fair resolution.
MIT’s lack of safety provisions nearly left me dead. But graduate workers are not disposable!
Over the years at MIT working with countless chemical and physical hazards in my lab, I have come to learn first hand how MIT systematically neglects graduate worker health and safety. This all came to a head when I found myself in an ambulance after a chemical exposure, unsure if I would live or die.
Fossil fuel companies fall short on climate pledges
Hearings held by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in September reveal the failures of fossil fuel companies to live up to their pledges on reducing their environmental impact — and why we still have work to do.
Cambridge’s own Green New Deal
City Councilor Quinton Zondervan is proposing the Cambridge Green New Deal with the goal of lowering emissions from commercial buildings.
Freedom of expression for all, minus students
Last fall, President Reif charged the provost, chancellor, and chair of the faculty to examine the state of freedom of expression on campus “on behalf of the community.” The process that led to the Freedom of Expression statement and report grossly failed President Reif’s call to “ensure that different points of view … are allowed to be heard and debated on our campus.”
MIT must protect campus communities against hate speech and hostility
When academic departments give a platform and MIT funding to any speaker, the aegis of free speech does not relieve the department from the consequences of that speech.
Radical breakthroughs for climate change? First we must deploy existing technologies
We’re always thrilled when people use science-based tools like En-ROADS; however, En-ROADS does not support the claims Mr. Hafer and Mr. Miller make.
A union made a difference for me
Graduate student workers at the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program (MIT-WHOI) decided overwhelmingly to unionize when a huge majority of us signed union cards over the last few weeks. After seeing what unionization did for my community growing up, I am confident unionization can be a tool for building a graduate experience of greater stability, security, and support for all of us, regardless of our backgrounds.
MIT history faculty members issue statement of solidarity with Iran’s Sharif University of Technology
The members of the history faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) listed below write to express our unwavering solidarity with the students and professors at Iran’s Sharif University of Technology and condemn in the strongest possible terms the Iranian government’s violent raid on our counterparts at Sharif.
How MIT could more effectively combat global warming
Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on wind turbines, solar panels, and electric cars will make no perceptible difference in global warming during our lifetimes. Would an intense and highly focused research and development program on direct CO2 removal and climate engineering not be a better investment of resources?