A look back at the year of Tech flamage!
The Tech published 22 editorials last year, covering subjects ranging from housing to ROTC. In writing them, the Editorial Board naturally focused on issues currently under review by the MIT administration or other groups on campus. Frequently, we wrote about problems we felt demanded an immediate solution - those at Random Hall, for example. Thus it happened that the editorials generally glossed over the many things we like about MITand campus life and instead focused on aspects of MIT that could use some improvement.
The most serious examples this year involved the administration's flawed decision-making process. When it came to including students in decisions that could fundamentally change their daily lives, administrators more often than not failed miserably. They often sought student input only as an afterthought, if at all. When students were included, their input was often just nominal: Administrative departments had already circumscribed the options available, or prejudiced the outcome of discussions by hardening organizational routines.
This year's annual summary of editorials features a "report card" that rates the inclusiveness of each decision-making process covered in an editorial in 1995. Each letter grade is followed by a brief evaluation describing any progress made since the editorial was written, and a summary of why the grade was assigned. We used the following scale:
AExcellent performance in including the student body as an equal partner in the decision-making process. All interested student groups were given the opportunity to participate in every phase of the process, from determining goals and designing options to making the decision itself.
BGood performance. Many interested student groups were given an opportunity to participate in most phases of the decision-making process. Student groups were considered nearly equal partners in that process.
CModerate student involvement. Students were given some opportunity to participate in a few phases of the process. Student involvement was limited to a few select students or student groups. Student participation was considered on an unequal or "customer" basis.
DBelated and nearly irrelevant student involvement. Students were included only after key phases of the planning process completed. List of available options was highly circumscribed in advance of student involvement.
FToken or irrelevant student involvement. Secretive or conspira- torial process.