The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 37.0°F | A Few Clouds

Article ignored graduate students who back proposed housing plan

The Tech's news article "Grad students oppose proposed housing policy" [March 16] was an irresponsible piece of journalism because it portrays the Graduate Student Council's Housing and Community Affairs Committee as uniformly opposed to the Housing Office proposal for graduate student housing and fails to mention graduate support for the proposed plan.

We sat with The Tech's reporter for nearly two hours at the HCA committee meeting on March 5. Either he slept through most of that meeting or he chose to ignore a large part of the discussion which transpired. At least five individuals (four of whom have been members of HCA for at least one year) expressed support for the Housing Office's proposed policy.

If The Tech had bothered to investigate the recent history of HCA meetings, it would have realized that many of those showing up for such meetings are not regular attendees of HCA meetings. Rather they are current on-campus residents who have been showing up in droves ever since the concept of changing the status quo with regards to graduate student housing was suggested. In fact, this applies to many of the 15 or so individuals who voiced opposition to the proposal at the March 5 meeting. It is unrealistic to expect individuals who live off-campus (the majority of graduate students) to attend meetings to debate issues which will have absolutely no effect on them. That leaves a few of us who are dedicated to the plight of homeless first-year graduate students to speak up at these meetings as spokespersons for the nameless 1300 incoming graduate students who are subjected to the "housing meet grinder" each fall.

More than 80 percent of the nearly 1500 graduate students who responded to a 1989 HCA survey said first-year graduate students should have priority for on-campus housing. Of all the plans which have been seriously discussed at HCA meetings (including the GSC proposal), the Housing Office's proposed plan is superior and most closely in accord with students' expressed views. It will guarantee housing to the most first-year graduate students with the shortest delay in reaching the long term goal of offering one year of on-campus housing to all first-year graduate students who request housing. This point of view was espoused by several of us at the March 5 HCA meeting. It was negligent of The Tech to ignore it.

Robert Kiss G->

Linda Baston G->