Progressive concerns top GSC agenda
I am currently a voting member of the Graduate Student Council representing the Department of Mechanical Engineering. I know both Carolyn D. Ruppel G ["GSC not representative," Nov. 2] and Michael D. Grossberg G ["GSC does represent student opinions," Nov. 7]. For me, the issues they have argued about boil down to the purpose and attitude of those on the GSC, especially new President Grossberg and Vice President Steven D. Penn G.
Grossberg has let others know his concern about the lack of a progressive agenda in the previous two GSC administrations, Peng/Warwick (1988-89) and Warwick/Hansen (1989-90). Grossberg expressed concern about the moderate views of some GSC members on, for example, the administration's pornography policy.
After last spring's protests and arrests, Grossberg became troubled in an Executive Committee meeting that some members of the GSC would not condemn the police "brutality" and scrutinize the administration. Grossberg and Penn packed the next GSC meeting with protesters (a few immediately became voting members of the GSC by filing the required 20 signatures) and passed the resolution authored primarily by Penn. It is with the purpose of pursuing personally-determined progressive agendas that both Grossberg and Penn sought offices of the GSC.
Accordingly, the current GSC has expressed a confrontational and militant attitude towards the administration. For example, during the last full GSC meeting, Grossberg indulged in a theatrical reproduction of what were probably considered private communications with administrators concerning GSC control of graduate committee representatives. Grossberg's portrayal of administrators as buffoons was greeted with subsequent cheers and hisses by the largely new GSC. I have never seen this type of behavior so callously displayed at any prior GSC meeting.
Personally, I view my attendance at MIT as a great privilege. I respect the work of past administrators, faculty, staff and alumni. In general, I have little disagreement with either the administration or Institute policy. After I leave the Institute, I will have benefited much more from MIT than MIT from myself.
In contrast, other students view their attendance at MIT as some great entitlement. They believe they should be in control.
This attitude is reflected in the new GSC issue concerning the control of Institute committee appointment. Grossberg and Penn want (1) graduate students on all committees, (2) the elimination of the committee chairman's right to select a student representative from a GSC-selected short list of candidates, and (3) the ability to remove, as the GSC determines, "negligent representatives."
For the most part, the committee appointment issue is a power play by a few people in the GSC who have personal progressive agendas to pursue, at the expense of antagonizing and alienating administrators.
Randall D. Manteufel G->