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Writing Requirement Articles Were Misleading

I was disappointed by your Oct. 4 article, "Forum to Solicit Student Opinion on Writing Requirement Proposal." It repeated a misleading statement which was also made in an earlier article on the same topic.

In the October article, the author writes: "The plan would only affect future students, since it would take approximately seven years to create all the subjects the new system would need."

This statement is misleading at best. It is true that it will take seven years for students who have had to fulfill the new "communications requirement" to graduate on time. However, freshmen who will enter MIT in the fall of 1999 will have to start fulfilling this new requirement.

It is hoped that much of the necessary new coursework will be in place by that time, as detailed in the report that the Committee on the Writing Requirement submitted to the Committee on Undergraduate Performance last year.

The statement that the plan would only affect future students is certainly questionable. Freshmen and sophomores currently attending MIT see the new plan in action. Resources that could be used for other purposes will be allotted to creating new communications courses.

Moreover, the new "communications requirement" will require every department in the Institute to begin making changes, some of them major.

Students currently attending MIT will feel the effects of these changes even if they do not need to fulfill the new requirement.

Unfortunately, both of the articles on the new requirement written in The Tech merely said that it will take seven years to overhaul the current system.

I regret that you were unable to print my earlier letter correcting this fact, and I regret that The Tech has now printed this error twice.

Matthew J. Herper '99