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MIT Has Neglected Random for Decades

MIT Has Neglected Random for Decades

It was with some personal interest that I read the recent editorial concerning Random Hall ["Random Hall Deserves Institute's Attention," Nov. 7]. After many days in limbo during rush week of 1977, I became part of the "temporary" history of Random as an undergraduate living group. It was run down and beat up, though in our years a new boiler was installed, along with replacement windows and new steam valves. These were improperly installed because of the nature of the steam system -- it was always too hot or too cold. Random suffered from inattention by Physical Plant because it was a temporary dorm. The phone service was terrible, and computer access was through an old TTY in the basement through a modem.

There are many stories to be told -- like the time a drunken semi-truck driver (and truck) crashed through the next-door gas station, starting a fire along the party wall. There was the time that the fourth-floor refrigerators were replaced and Physical Plant refused to remove the old refrigerators; the old ones made it down to the alley dumpsters once by falling out the airshaft, and over the edge of the roof another time. (No one saw it happen.)

There was a great sense of community in spite of the conditions -- or perhaps because of them. But in retrospect, even then it must have been one of the worst buildings owned by the Institute.

David T. Williams '81