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Merger Could Offer Opportunity for Empowered Students

Merger Could Offer Opportunity for Empowered Students

I was disappointed by the mixed-to-unfavorable reaction that student leaders and The Tech editorial ["Student Input Should Guide Merger," Feb. 16] gave to the proposed merger of the housing functions of Residence and Campus Activities and the Department of Housing and Food Services. Specifically, I was disappointed that the students feel their ability to "manage and guide life in the housing system" would be threatened. I suggest that this is indicative of the lack of trust that exists in a climate where students have to garner their "political turf" as a result of organizational chaos, rather than by mutual agreement with administrators.

Instead of viewing the merger as a threat to student self-determination in their living groups, I view it as an opportunity for a "Magna Carta" moment where the rights and responsibilities of student self-determination can be defined. The result would be a system where the MIT professionals (currently in HFS and RCA) can align their experience and skills (rather than being at cross-purposes) and work with empowered students to create living and learning communities that are educationally and socially more rewarding, without many of the frustrations and complications that currently exist.

I hope that students, the re-engineering team, and the other decision-makers are able to take advantage of this rare opportunity for a improvement that re-engineering is presenting the Institute with.

Joseph J. Bambenek G