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Letters to the Editor

The Tech received a copy of the following letter addressed to Samuel R. Peretz '89.

I received a carbon copy of your letter to The Tech directed to the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT and would like to respond to you as its executive vice president and chief executive officer ["MIT Club Invitation Harasses," Feb. 18]. We have already heard directly from two alumnae residents in the Delaware Valley concerning the MIT Club of Delaware Valley's offensive event. We are pursuing the issue vigorously with the volunteer club leadership. Each MIT club is independently organized and run by volunteer boards. The Association does maintain standards for clubs using MIT's name. Obviously, the actions of the Delaware Valley Club do not pass muster. We will certainly discourage MIT alumni club officers from hosting such an event in the future.

I presume that your carbon copy to the Association was intended to seek action about this situation. I am mystified as to your expectation, inferred from addressing your letter to The Tech, that the editors would rectify this situation. A more direct approach with appropriate copies to The Tech would have been welcome.

William J. Hecht '61

Executive Vice President and CEO

Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT

Student Reacts to `Christian Crusaders'

Social interaction at MIT could, I think, be compared to that which takes place between inmates in a maximum security prison. Given this fact, it is a welcome change when someone I have never met before sits down at my table during lunch. After all, how difficult can a 10-minute conversation be compared to 6.001-2-3? But then, just after I mention that I have a class at 1 p.m. and need to leave, my amicable guest inevitably mentions the B-word, "Bible study."

Suddenly, I have the distinct impression that the entire conversation has been disingenuous. After several such encounters, I find myself assuming that any gregarious stranger is a Christian on the prowl for converts. This assumption is rarely proven false. At first, I made up bogus excuses as to why I couldn't attend. I actually agreed to have dinner with a particularly dedicated follower of Christ, who throughout the meal explained to me the one true way to salvation.

Then I just started saying no without qualification. Now, I think stronger action is called for. After all, by assuming that I might actually be interested in studying their book, these people are asking for a swift rebuttal. A few responses I've dreamed up, but not used, are: "No thanks, I saw the movie," "I only have the King Sussman version of the 6.001 Bible. Is it okay if I bring that?" and "I'm boycotting God since the jerk created quantum mechanics and made my life a living hell!"

Admittedly, these are weak and generally humor-free. However, uttering them instead of a simple "no thanks" will be immeasurably more interesting, if for no other reason than to see how my annoying, though harmless, Christian crusader will react.

James W. Reiner '94.