The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 39.0°F | A Few Clouds

Multiculturalism deserves a good laugh

(Editor's note: The Tech received a copy of the following open letter to Associate Provost for Educational Programs and Policy Samuel J. Keyser:)

We were amused by your remark, quoted in The Tech ["UA meeting probes FHC housing plan," Nov. 8], to the effect that the MIT housing system "was designed for white, Anglo-Saxon males." We fear, though, that people who do not know you well might have missed the fact that you were making this statement in your capacity as Peter de Florez '11 professor of humor, rather than in your capacity as associate provost for educational programs.

It is encouraging to see that someone in the administration is finally willing to stand up and parody the tendency of too many people on campus to inject allusions to political correctness and multi-culturalism into any discussion, no matter how specious and fatuous the allusions may be.

But, as an expert in humor like yourself is well aware, sarcasm that is too subtle risks being taken at face value. One way to reduce this risk would be to couple your remarks to an even more patently ridiculous assertion, such as the claim that the results of the housing assignment process would be improved by giving MIT bureaucrats a more active role in it.

Professor Hal Abelson PhD '73->

Michael R. Blair G->

Guillermo Juan Rozas G->