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Letters to the Editor

I am writing this letter in response to something I saw on Friday, Nov. 20 that grossly disturbed me. As I walked out of Lobby 7 and toward Massachusetts Avenue, I noticed a large crowd of people protesting sexual harassment at MIT. I thought to myself, "Finally, students are fighting for a worthwhile cause." But I looked further and my stomach turned as I saw several individuals holding up signs saying "Go home bitch" and "Stop your bitching." It took all my restraint not to walk up to these boys and kick them in the groin. My anger has nothing to do with the recent results of the harassment trial. Personally, I do not know enough about the case to say whether or not Professor Bitran should have been acquitted, but sexual harassment is a very serious issue and I was absolutely appalled that anyone could joke about it in such a manner.

I could not believe that these people would publicly admit they had no respect for women, and that they could freely give their names to widely read publications such as The Boston Globe, promoting the stereotype that all men at MIT see women as they do, as inferior beings. Their ignorance and disrespect for members of the opposite sex made me want to vomit.

With all the violence and inhumane acts occurring on campus lately, I have been thinking a great deal about what has happened to people's morals these days. One nagging question keeps reappearing in my mind. If we go to college and become educated and moral values are instilled in us, why is the world in such lousy shape? One would think that people at MIT are a bit more intelligent than your average male chauvinist pig, but I guess I gave these people too much credit. If we here are among the very smartest, how can a group of individuals be so ignorant?

Sabrina N. Bernold '95

Meelan Lee '95

Marjorie J. Delo '95

Frank E. Desimone '92

Lizette Arce '95

Christi M. Hebert '94

and 13 others.

Teamwork Among Citizens Can Stop Crime

Tonight I got my introduction to Boston: two young men stole $60 from me. We are students, and so we all should learn something from such episodes.

This robbery occurred at approximately 8 p.m. in the Park Street MBTA station near the north end of the outgoing Red Line platform. The two cocky characters who intimidated me also intimidated the whole platform of thirty people into motionless silence. I yelled and hollered and tried to follow the guys from a safe distance, but they got away, even though they had to pass the crowd as they walked nonchalantly to the stairway.

Here is the lesson: we must act when we become aware of crime around us. For example, if someone had followed the thugs who robbed me, it would have been easier to catch them. Someone else could have notified the police sooner than I did. Yet another person could have helped describe and identify the suspects. The MBTA and city police responded very quickly and commendably, even bringing one person for me to identify, but I had only a very weak description. Other people's memories would have been invaluable. Teamwork among fellow citizens would have given us the upper hand that night.

If citizens continue to disregard their duty to work toward a more civil society, violence and crime will continue to increase. The two arrogant young whippersnappers who stole my money will continue to gain confidence ($60 in five minutes without even having to run is addictive) and move on to assault, rape, and murder.

Dale G. Fried G

Safe Ride Needs Improvement

The Tech received a copy of the following letter addressed to Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56.

Crimes committed on campus in the past months have prompted much discussion about safety at MIT. The Graduate Student Council feels that improving the situation requires a combination of individual, group, and administrative efforts, and believes the Safe Ride van service to be one area needing improvement.

Of paramount importance will be the addition of more vans, but other changes would be helpful as well. It is extremely important, for example, that people know when the van will stop at a particular location. Waiting outside for the van can be more dangerous than simply walking to one's destination; if the waiting time required is as much as 30 minutes, many people will walk.

A stop at the Kendall Square MBTA station is very important. Additional stops at Draper Laboratory and the Central Square T station should be considered. These would insure safe access to public transportation for most of the MIT community. An attempt should be made to mark the stops with signs, and wherever possible, there should be emergency phones and lights at the stops. Safe Ride vans could stop for 15-30 seconds at each stop for people who are waiting inside buildings. The vans should not simply drive through a stop if nobody is present outside.

For the safety of the drivers, all passengers should be required to show a college ID before entering the van. Fitting the vans with power locks would also be beneficial, giving the driver control over who enters the van. A procedure should also be available through which riders can file complaints about the drivers. The Graduate Student Council could help publicize this procedure.

The GSC feels very strongly that security at MIT is inadequate. Criminals are comfortable here, while the MIT community is not. We recognize that individuals must take action to protect themselves, but MIT as a whole must as well. A Safe Ride is only one of the services available, but it can be used more efficiently than it is presently. The GSC hopes that these suggestions can help improve A Safe Ride, and we would appreciate a timetable for implementation of changes.

Anand Mehta G

on behalf of the Graduate Student Council