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Graffiti Hurts Relations

Thanks to the article on the Lambda Chi Alpha/Tau Epsilon Phi/Smoots fracas ["Fraternities Settle After TEP House, Smoots Vandalized," Nov. 16], I now know who was responsible for the vandalism of the Smoots. The quaintsy-waintsy smiley faces, hearts, and arcane references to the number 22 make the Smoots look like the Stations of Hello, Kitty -- the Japanese cartoon cat.

Every year some group of students gets the insufferably cute idea of embellishing the Smoots as a hack. This annual resurfacing only betrays how unoriginal and unimaginative it is. "Our Lady of the All-Night Tool" and the balloon at the Harvard-Yale game have led us to expect more creativity from MIT students. Please, people, think of something else to do!

While vandalizing the Smoots is, at best, an annoyance, I was outraged at the "+ one queer" graffiti painted in front of the TEP house, first as an openly gay member of the MIT community, and second, as a resident of Back Bay. The fraternity members responsible are not named, and LCA President Neelesh H. Mehendale '94 is careful to point out that their actions were not made representing LCA. But neither he nor Neal H. Dorow, assistant dean for fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, indicate how they are going to be disciplined and how they intend to combat homophobia in LCA. The students of today are the alumni of tomorrow; practicing homophobes in the alumni body make it difficult for me to value my place in the MIT community.

As a Back Bay neighbor, boys, let me give you a piece of advice: vandalism in any form, but especially graffiti on the sidewalk, is not a good way to make friends with the neighbors. Before you retaliate, think about the long-term repercussions for yourselves and your fraternity.

Robert B. Dimmick Recording Secretary, Administrative Assistant to the Executive Vice President and CEO Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT