The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 23.0°F | Partly Cloudy and Breezy

Chocolate City life includes contract with MIT majorities

(Editor's note: the author submitted this letter both to Chocolate City's Word and to The Tech.)

Recently, as news of the recognition of Chocolate City as an official Institute house has become more well-known, several people have voiced their opinions about Chocolate City's existence and its acceptance as an official house. Most of the comments have been negative, maintaining that by living in Chocolate City, residents of the house are segregating themselves from the MIT community. As a resident of Chocolate City, I can say wholeheartedly that I find such opinions completely unfounded and ridiculous. Chocolate City is no more removed from the MIT social climate than any other group, on campus or off, and it is certainly no more separatist.

One of the first points of contention is that CC residents have separated themselves from the rest of MIT and that the Institute has encouraged such behavior by giving Chocolate City official status. A resident of CC would be hard pressed to separate himself from the white majority of MIT. Each day, residents of CC must go out as students, sit in class with, ask questions of, talk to, work with, and eat around other students who are usually white or Asian. It is not only necessary, it is inevitable. If the residents of Chocolate City were so intent upon being away from the majority population, they probably would not attend MIT anyway. All residents of Chocolate City conduct daily, willful interactions with whites and Asians. Can the same be said of majority students with minority students? No, because I have come across students, who, after a semester at MIT, could not list the names of five minority students that they knew.

Also, to say that CC's mere existence is segregative undermines the purpose of not only all cultural organizations but several others as well. The Black Students Union, LUChA, the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Korean Students Association, the Chinese Students Club, etc., all have membership of one major ethnicity. And how about organizations such as Gays and Lesbians at MIT? Could they be considered separatist on the basis of sexuality? What about McCormick and the Women's Independent Living Group? Are they sexually separatist?

The final and most important point of my arguments is that none of the people to whom I've spoken really know what Chocolate City is. Many of the people that I know are acquainted with no one in CC besides myself. Most of the people that I've had this argument with have gathered their information about CC from a source less accurate than third-hand, and none of them have ever been to Chocolate City (floors three, four, and five of New House I) or any of its functions. CC is not open only to black students; it is open to men of any ethnicity who we believe would make valuable house members. I have yet to hear of any non-minority students trying to get into CC.

If you would like to know more about Chocolate City, please feel free to visit or attend one of our public functions. If you have any questions about Chocolate City, then ask any of the 28 house residents to answer them. If you would like to be ignorant and remain uninformed about Chocolate City, then do so. But remember: there is only one thing worse than not knowing something, and that is believing that you know something that you don't.

Chip "K.S.M.M." Morton '92->