The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 66.0°F | Mostly Cloudy

Letters to the Editor

The MIT International Student Association wishes to express its deep sorrow at the loss of one of our fellow students, Yngve K. Raustein `94.

He was an important member of our community and will be missed by all. We, as international students, are deeply concerned about this tragedy, and we send our heartfelt sympathies to the parents of Yngve.

We plan to send a letter of sympathy, signed by many members of the MIT community, to his parents. Everyone is welcome to add to the letter by signing the sheets placed in dorms and other locations on campus.

Also, to express our remorse and disgust at the dastardly act, we plan to attend the trials of the suspects. Anyone who is interested in joining us is welcome to contact us.

Zeeshan Khan '94

On behalf of The Executive Committee of the International Students Association

Redefine Campus Police Commitments

For the past four years, I have been saying I lived on the MIT campus and listing my street address as Memorial Drive. I'm sure many of you, whether for the past few weeks or the past few years, can say the same.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I read in The Tech that parts of Memorial Drive and Massachusetts Avenue within a two minute walk of Lobby 7 are considered to be off campus ["MIT Woman Assaulted on Fringe of Campus," Sept. 22].

In this article, the two violent crimes committed against MIT students over the past weekend were considered similar because both took place on what Campus Police Chief Anne Glavin considers MIT's doorstep, areas technically not under MIT police jurisdiction.

While I commend the MIT Police for their successful efforts in apprehending those responsible for the crimes, I cannot accept the map of our campus as it has been re-drawn in my mind this weekend.

How is it possible that these places are not considered part of our campus? Memorial Drive is the street address for a huge portion of our campus, for those places where we eat, sleep, and learn, for buildings many of us call home for four or more years of our lives. And what about Albany Street and Massachusetts Avenue? Do we not have a brand new graduate dormitory known as Edgerton Hall located on Albany Street? A parking lot known as Albany Lot? Two dorms and three ILGs located on Massachusetts Avenue?

I think it is time to redefine the boundaries and jurisdictions of our campus before the criminals of society redefine them for us.

Susan E. Margulies '92

MIT Must Not Hide Campus Crime

The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 was enacted to insure that schools do not hide the level of victimization on campus. But the Institute wants to do just this with respect to last weekend's crimes.

Immediately after the murder of Yngve Raustein `94 last weekend, Baker residents were told not to speak to the press. Why? The Institute wanted to avoid any association of the school with the incident. Fortunately, the press did take notice. And so more students will be aware of the dangers that abound. However, next year's prospective students may not be so lucky.

When prospective students and their parents consider MIT, they should be aware of the dangers associated with an urban campus. But according to one MIT Campus Police officer, neither of the two heinous crimes that took place last weekend will be listed in next year's pamphlet of Safety and Security at MIT, the most widely disseminated document listing crime activity on campus. This is simply because the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 doesn't require it to. Both the murder and the assault were on streets that are technically off campus.

I am asking that the Institute make widely available to all students and their parents statistics which more accurately reflect the dangers that affect us. These include those crimes that take place on the fringes of campus and those crimes perpetrated on students as they travel from the Institute to their living quarters, especially off campus.

We have the collective responsibility for our safety. Part of that responsibility is pointing out MIT's faults in the press and asking that meaningful statistics be made available.

Joseph M. Milner G

Self-Defense Is Not The Answer To Violence

I believe the murder of Yngve K. Raustein `94 has affected everyone in our community in very personal, unique ways. I personally watched the ambulances and police converge on Memorial Drive from my room and was saddened to face another senseless act of violence. Later, when I found that the victim had been an MIT student and a fellow Baker resident, I was stunned.

It is natural to react this way, but I was frightened to see a letter in The Tech that amounts to a call to arms ["Tragedy Shows Need For Self-Defense," Sept. 22]. Self defense is a useful skill to learn, but it should be used only as an absolute last resort when avoidance, cooperation, escape, and persuasion have failed.

An attacker is not rational. He is angry and malicious, and resistance will only increase the violence of an attack. I hold a red belt in Tae Kwon Do and have also learned basic knife, sword, and stick techniques, yet there is no guarantee that an attacker will not be more skillful, stronger, angrier, or luckier than me.

Firearms and other weapons merely increase the violence of a given situation beyond our control. A weapon is generally more dangerous to its wielder than to the target, unless the user is highly skilled in its use, and even then it can always be turned against you.

To say that Yngve Raustein would have saved himself if he had been trained and armed is insulting. Against a surprise attack with a knife by a group of punks, he did nothing wrong. His death was a tragedy, but let us not cause more tragedies by arming our way into a false sense of security and strength.

Andrew Kim '95

Bridge Club Postering Disrespectful

When walking through Lobby 10 today, I saw two members of the MIT Bridge Club putting up posters. I informed them that Lobby 10 is a memorial, and it is against the rules and disrespectful to place posters on it. They stopped postering until I left, but, when I returned to Lobby 10 a few minutes later, several posters were taped to the memorial. I find it unbelievable that students would place posters on a memorial after being told it is against the rules and inappropriate, especially on the eve of a vigil for a dead MIT student. I am writing this letter to remind the MIT community that Lobby 10 is a memorial so they will exercise more sensitivity than the Bridge Club members.

Ellen Spertus G