More Constructive Ideas Needed on Student Input
After reading through almost an entire semester of Tech editorials, I must say that I am confused. I have waded through attack after attack against MIT, its programs, and many of its employees and students. These attacks have charged various programs and people with incompetence, institutional greed, cronyism, placing one's ego over the good of the community, active contempt of students, and so on. Yet, at the end of all of this, I am left to wonder what should have been obvious: What does The Tech's editorial board want?
What The Tech does not like is clear. However, descriptions of what The Tech does want are very rare. Occasionally, I see calls for the following: more (or less) student involvement, involvement of student leaders, a truly representative process, and more attention on MIT's part toward student life. But these are very vague terms. I do not know what The Tech considers to be appropriate ways of involving students, nor do I know what its definition of a representative process is. I do not even know who is being defined as a student leader.
The Tech's most recent editorial, ["Vague Goals Limit Student Involvement," Nov. 26] was an improvement in that it called for "designing forums with higher stakes and explicit goals." However, I am not quite sure what that means either. Student services re-engineering teams certainly have high stakes and explicit goals, but this editorial explicitly criticizes them.
I believe that The Tech's editors really care about MIT student life and are not just firing salvos out of some sort of twisted idea of fun. Therefore, I respectfully ask that the editorial board start writing real proposals on what it actually wants. Could we have some pieces rather than single sentences describing how students should be involved with Institute decisions?
Better yet, The Tech could talk about how entire decision-making processes should be designed. And I think we would all benefit from seeing some substantial proposals on ways to improve student life. Cost problems, time problems, student activities funding, classroom renovations, advising, and many other issues could all use a thorough, well-thought out review by The Tech.
The MIT community always has a great need for well-thought out ideas on how to improve things here. The fact that MIT currently is trying to rethink its entire educational mission and the programs that will support that mission make this need especially acute. The Tech's opinion pages could be one of the most important and influential sources for good ideas on how to improve MIT - if The Tech's writers take the opportunity to make them so. I hope they take it.
John S. Hollywood G