I appreciate and respect the reporting and perspectives that have been published during this semester in The Tech in response to or in connection with President Trump’s travel and immigration executive orders. However, some crucial facts and opinions have been missing which the MIT community deserves to know about, especially in these current troubled times when security threats have become daily news.
On behalf of MIT Medical and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE), we are writing to express our disappointment in your front-page story “Health insurance for graduate students with dependents to increase” in the May 11 issue of The Tech. To our knowledge, no one from The Tech took the time to contact our offices for comment or to check facts. The resulting story falsely implied that the MIT administration and MIT Student Health Plan had discriminated against MIT families. This caused concern in the graduate student community.
Career Fair must be managed by an organization motivated by a mission to serve the entire undergraduate population, and not rooted in monetary incentives, so that CF will be better aligned with the professional development needs of MIT undergraduates.
In February, I attended a discussion with Chancellor Barnhart regarding the future of the MIT education. Our guiding questions: What bold experiments in education should MIT pursue? What should a college education entail? I was prompted by the discussion to reflect on the character of the education I have received. Intent on understanding the most fundamental aspects of nature, I came to MIT seeking an education in physics. I will certainly leave knowing much more physics than when I arrived. However, I have received, or more accurately, stumbled into a second education—one that I did not seek because I was not aware I needed it. I now believe this second education, which I will call my “human education,” is significantly more important than my technical one; and moreover, that it has benefited me in a deeper and more serious way. My motive for writing, then, is to clarify what I mean by this human education and to explain why it is particularly needful at MIT. I hope my peculiar experience may help others address the questions Chancellor Barnhart posed.
All candidates have put many hours of work into their platforms and campaigns, and all care deeply about serving their fellow students. However, we believe Melvin and Martin have a combination of breadth of experience and policy vision that makes them the best choice to lead the UA next year.
After reading Grace Chua’s March 16, 2017, Letter to the Editor entitled “The invisible families of MIT,” we realized that many readers may not know that MIT Medical has provided resources to graduate-student families and others through our MIT Spouses and Partners Connect program (MS&PC) for more than 40 years.
In the months since the bubble burst, MIT could have taken a nonpartisan position that attempted to broaden the community’s perspective and to encourage disappointed students to make the best out of the situation. Instead, MIT’s unproductive official response has reconstructed the divisive bubble and alienated many on campus.
Just by virtue of being sheltered, fed, and clothed, we are among the richest quarter of people in the world. Add to that the endless opportunities and resources available to us as MIT students, and there is no question that we are among the freest to direct our lives and exert our wills. Yet freedom can’t be sustained on its own. Will, direction, and a sense of responsibility lift our wings to keep us here.
Over the past month in the delirium that is post-election, the MIT Confessions page on Facebook has brought into light unpopular political opinions and viewpoints from anonymous members of campus. Rather than view these unpopular perspectives as an opportunity for conversation, many MIT students have instead attempted to close discussions with supporters of President-elect Donald Trump with Facebook comments such as, “I’m sorry buddy but your support for Trump is indefensible. Nice try tho.” Social media is but one of many battlegrounds of political debate, or lack thereof. MIT students have admitted that some of their professors have publicly mocked the President-elect and his followers in their classrooms, and that others in the class do not speak up to challenge the remarks. In a survey of the MIT College Republican Club conducted by The Tech, one member wrote:
Donald Trump will be the first president to completely disregard data and blatantly devalue expert judgment. If the MIT administration wants to justify its decision to engage in its fight against climate change, then this is the opportune moment to do it.