Absurdity of some MIT events congratulatedI would like to congratulate the MIT community for its utter absurdity as documented in the May 7 issue of The Tech.
No, I'm not talking about non-alcoholic TANK. I'm not talking about how Ruth Perry and her clutch did not complain about the sexist "Mr. MIT" that was part of Spring Weekend. I'm not even talking about blessing labs.
I am talking instead about money, (= people's time). I am talking about how, in the same issue of The Tech in which students explain that some people are not at MIT because they cannot afford it, the Student Center Committee casually declares that $5000 was lost on the REM concert (and this was a sellout). I looked at the figure, and wondered, where have I seen it before? Oh yeah, tuition. "Far out."
Where did that money come from? I believe that some of it comes from the "activity tax" that students have been obliged to pay. We voted for the SCC, or for those who appointed the SCC; and democracy is always right, the group always has precedence over the mere individual's choice (there's just no need for absolute restrictions, powers limited by a comstitution are only for the paranoid), no? We as a group voted to treat REM as a charity, and we all live under the authority of those we have elected (and the ODSA). $5000 is about a dollar a student. It's also what it costs one student to go here (how far would $5000 go if distributed as partial help to several students?).
Now, I would not deny that Spring Weekend and the REM concert improves the quality of life for many people. "SCC acts as a service to MIT students." But quality of life is very much affected by having to hold down a job and go to school (and at MIT!). Try and imagine it. Could those who try to enjoy the weekend with just change in their pockets have better used their dollar? May of you will not have to imagine. However I'm not trying to get you to think. This is an appreciation of irony, that's all.
The other ludicrosity also involves the quality of student life. In the same Tech in which Miss McBay denies that she babysits, we find that ODSA wants East Campus to get a junior housemaster next term. Never mind that 80 percent of the students there don't want it; never mind that it will consume 4 rooms that sudents could live in, possibly raising the rent (which has it's own wonderful effects upon student life, see above); never mind that these mommies do not tutor and are ever so rarely consulted for deep problems (never mind that they're neither trained as counselors nor particularly knowledgable about the `Tute and it's ways); never mind that the social activities that they organize could just as easily be done by a few outgoing, active students (who will not require a free four room suite!); for the new junior housemaster will "Maximize Faculty Presence." Without maximum faculty presence, who knows what horrible messes those East Campus kids will get themselves into? Perhaps McBay would be more useful doing windows; the first windows I suggest she clean are the dimmed yellow ones through which the ODSA peers at the world.
David A. Honig '86->
(Editor's note: Two of Honig's points need clarification. First, MIT does not ask its students to pay a specific activities tax. Second, students do not vote for the people who appoint the Student Center Committee -- the Undergraduate Association does not appoint SCC. Rather, members are voted in by the committee itself.)