Counterpoint Issues Trashed; Contained Fraternity ReviewBy Stacey E. Blau
Issues of the MIT-Wellesley publication Counterpoint were vandalized in the Infinite Corridor and in the Student Center Thursday around midnight, according to Counterpoint Editor Han Y. Huang G.
At about 12:30 a.m. Friday, Counterpoint President Richard Y. Lee '97 discovered copies of the issue dumped in garbage cans in Lobby 7, stained with chocolate and coffee, Huang said. Issues set out on the first and second floors of the Student Center were also dumped into nearby garbage cans.
Chia-Ying D. Yang '96, who witnessed the Student Center lobby vandalism, said that at around midnight he "saw two guys grabbing a whole stack of Counterpoints and dumping them in a garbage can next to the elevator" near LaVerde's Market.
Yang described one of the perpetrators as an Asian male and the other as a male wearing a dirty ivory-white baseball cap.
Yang said that a Campus Police officer was near the first floor when the incident occurred but was not "looking in [our] direction, so he didn't see it."
The vandalism took place just hours after copies of Counterpoint had been dropped off at distribution sites, Huang said.
This is the second time that issues of Counterpoint have been tampered with in the past year. Nearly all 4,500 copies of the magazine's February issue, which featured an interview with Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, were stolen and never recovered.
Tense rush could be to blame
The Counterpoint issue in question was subtitled "The Insider's Guide to Rush" and included an article containing descriptions of most independent living groups at MIT as well as a guide to rushing at MIT.
Huang said that he suspects "a disgruntled fraternity" that was not pleased by its description in the article "Wherever You May Roam: A Frank Guide to ILGs at MIT" may be the perpetrator.
Also, "the fact that the vandalism happened during [Residence and Orientation Week] makes you suspect an ILG" was responsible, Huang said. Some ILGs "may take offense at the issue simply because rush is such an intense time," he said.
Many of the descriptions included information about the respective drinking practices of ILGs and two or three fraternities told Counterpoint staff members that they were upset at the way in which they were portrayed, Huang said.
Huang believes Counterpoint in particular may have been targeted specifically because no issues of either The Thistle, which included several negative articles about rush, or The Tech, which also came out Thursday, were vandalized.
Magazine was wary of vandalism
Extra copies of Counterpoint were printed because of concern that some issues might be destroyed, Huang said.
"I don't think we said anything negative about any fraternity or ILG," Huang said, but "we were concerned because tensions are high" during rush.
In response to Thursday's vandalism, Counterpoint has postered signs around campus publicizing the incident.
Counterpoint plans to go ahead with distribution at Wellesley College during Labor Day weekend when Wellesley students return to campus and freshmen arrive, Huang said.
Chief of Campus Police Anne P. Glavin said that the incident has not yet been classified as vandalism because according to the police report, the issues are only missing, not destroyed. "I don't know where [the issues] went. There could have been a run on them," she said. "But it certainly appears as a problem," she added.