The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 36.0°F | A Few Clouds

MIT crossed line between concern and censorship by removing posters

Recently, these advertisements were placed on bulletin boards around campus, advertising a term paper and resume typing service.

Less than 24 hours after the signs had been put up, Eliot S. Levitt, senior office assistant in the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs, called the number listed on the advertisement, to inform the advertiser, me, that these signs "scared" him, and that he must be informed as to where each sign had been posted, so that he could take them down to protect students from viewing them.

He said that the Dean's Office believes that during the period of final exams, many students would be so stressed out that they would see these signs and break down, succumbing to the supposed pressure of the advertisement's suggestion to blow their brains out.

Firstly, the signs state "Don't Blow Your Brains Out -- we're here to help," so one would hope the message given is the latter -- to get help, rather than the former. Secondly, the advertisement is clearly meant to be taken lightly -- as an attention-getting ploy.

Finally, I believe that MIT is not only being highly overprotective and neurotic, but that the Dean's Office is not giving students the credit that they deserve; that they have common sense and are responsible for their own actions. There is a fine line between concern and censorship; and I believe the university has crossed that line.

Susan Geller->