IAP '92 called a success
By Sarah Keightley
Although it is still too early for him to be sure, Linn W. Hobbs, chairman of the Independent Activities Period Policy Committee, said this year's IAP has been "very successful."
The Office of the Dean for Student Affairs uses registration lists and dormitory counts to determine the number of students who return to campus for IAP, and "we try to go to activities ourselves," said Carol R. Boyer, senior office assistant at the ODSA.
Hobbs said, "Typically 75 percent of the undergraduate student body is here on campus."
According to Hobbs, a few activities were cancelled this IAP, but because new activities were added, things balanced out. "It looks like it's going to be a larger number of activities than last year."
For example, When Materials Misbehave, a class given by the Materials Science and Engineering Department, was cancelled due to lack of interest.
The IAP Policy Committee will be sending surveys to 20 percent of the student body to see how students spent their time over IAP, Hobbs said. "We'll have much better information when we get those surveys and the reports from the activity leaders," Hobbs said. He added that the committee will then be writing up a formal report to present to the faculty, a practice which takes place every four years.
"I think it's been pretty successful," said Carlos A. Aneses '94. "For me, both IAP's have been fairly good. The first IAP I didn't know what to do; I didn't preregister for any activities. But this year I did," he said.
Alice M. Yates '93 said that if there were anything she would tell new people, it would be to sign up early for the activities that require preregistration. She also said she thought IAP was too short. "At least give us a one or two day break between IAP and Registration Day," as there was two years ago.
"IAP has been very successful in the sense that we have tried to make IAP much more responsive to the academic needs of the students last year and this year by offering more sustained experiences for people, not just small one-shot lectures," Hobbs said. However, "there are not necessarily a large number of students who want to be engaged in serious activity." When IAP was founded 20 years ago, it was founded as an independent study period, Hobbs said.
Professor William H. Orme-Johnson said that in Frontiers in Chemistry for Freshman, an IAP chemistry lecture series, "the fascinating thing" for him was that professors from other departments came, as well as freshmen. He called this "an interesting and encouraging development."
Also, his Applied Chili Chemistry class was so "incredibly enthusiastically received" that a second section was formed. Even the manager of the Border Cafe showed up. "We had a really good session and it was good interaction for me," said Orme-Johnson. "Overall, IAP is alive and well in the chemistry department."
Professor Catherine V. Chvany of the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department said, "We are having quite a successful IAP as far as I know. I understand that the first-year language classes are going well as they always do. Unfortunately, the trip to Russia did not materialize -- our only disappointment. Otherwise everything seems to be going very well."
Ethan A. Mirsky '95 said he came back for IAP to take LEGO Robot Design Competition (6.270). "It's really cool." He and his partner said they felt lucky to be a part of this seminar, which was oversubscribed.
IAP is here to stay
Hobbs said that fears about the eminent elimination of IAP are unfounded. "I'm a little concerned that there has seemed to be alarm among the student body" over the possible elimination of IAP. "No one has proposed an end to IAP." Like anything else at MIT, it is being examined, he said.
According to Hobbs, the concern over IAP has come from a much more general point of view about the utilization of the academic year. The Institute Calendar Committee is looking into that since the Institute is struggling with the time available, Hobbs said. Some faculty do want "terms the way they were 20 years ago. Others are enormously excited by the prospects of IAP and what IAP can provide."
Students may use coupons
when ordering pizza
By Brian Rosenberg
Confusion at a Domino's Pizza franchise last week caused several MIT students to pay more for their pizza than they should have. The Back Bay franchise wrongly refused to accept coupons from MIT students who ordered pizza with their meal cards.
"Domino's [in the Back Bay] has a program with other schools similar to ours, and they simply got confused which program was which," said Alan Leo, director of Housing and Food Services. "As far as I know, the problem only went on Tuesday night," he added.
Leo said he called the franchise Wednesday morning and corrected the problem. "The terms of the contract have been clarified."
MIT's contract with Domino's specifies that the franchise must accept coupons with meal card orders, Leo explained. "That was part of our original negotiations," he said.
Randy Mason, a shift manager at the Back Bay Domino's where MIT students order, said he wasn't sure where the problem began. He was instructed not to accept coupons from any of the universities with meal card programs, he said.
Jay Woodward, general manager of five Boston Domino's franchises, could not be reached by telephone yesterday afternoon. Woodward coordinates the meal card program with MIT, Northeastern and Boston Universities.
MIT has no plans to pursue the matter further. It would be "kind of tough" to determine how many students were affected or how much money was involved, Leo said. Students with individual complaints about Domino's service should call him, he added.