The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 58.0°F | Fog/Mist

UA Approves Funds for Logan Finals Week Shuttle

By Stacey E. Blau
Opinion Editor

The Undergraduate Association Council approved funds for a shuttle for students to Logan Airport during finals week and discussed potential changes to the UA constitution at its meeting last night.

The council unanimously voted to allot $3,000 for the shuttle, which will run from the Wednesday during finals until that weekend.

Because there are no statistics on how many people rode the Logan shuttle or which times were the most popular when the shuttle ran during finals week in December, the council approved a larger budget than initially planned to allow for an increased number of runs, bigger or more buses, and expanded routes depending on how many people sign up to use the service.

"We're unsure how full the buses were last time," said UA Floor Leader Paul T. Oppold '99.

To get a better idea in advance of finals week how many people will be riding and to make registration easier, students will register for the shuttle through a page on the World Wide Web. The page will allow students to see which times are filled, reserve a spot for a convenient time, and receive a confirmation.

Constitution changes discussed

The council was split over discussion on potential changes to the UA's constitution.

The changes would involve requiring the council to hold its first meeting of the fall term during the first full week of September. Currently, the council must hold its first meeting during the first full week of October.

The change would allow the council to begin its work earlier in the year, permitting time for eight meetings instead of the six which the fall schedule now allows.

"The momentum [doesn't] really get going until halfway through the semester" with the present schedule, said Sandra C. Sandoval, president of the Class of 2000 and the UA vice president-elect. "The whole year ends up being not as productive as it could be."

In addition, with the earlier meetings, people will be able to get down to work fresh from the summer before they are bogged down with class work, Sandoval said. The council also will be able prepare to welcome new freshmen representatives, who join the council in October after freshman class elections during September.

Several people raised objections to the changes, pointing out that a council meeting during the first week of September would take place before council representatives are actually elected.

"It's going to be embarrassing if you call a council meeting and no one shows up," said UA Treasurer Russell S. Light '98.

Sandoval said that she sees an early September council meeting as an incentive for dormitories and the Interfraternity Council to choose their representatives in the spring so that they will not miss the year's first council meeting.

Others complained that holding elections during the spring would exclude freshmen in the fall from serving as representatives.

"Freshmen often seem the most excited to help out," said Edward A. Gordon '99, IFC representative and chair of the UA Committee on Student Life. "I think you might want to look out for those freshmen who want to join up."

UA Vice President and President-elect Dedric A. Carter '98 said that freshmen have other ways to become involved with the UA. The primary way for them to become involved would be to join the freshman class council, Carter said.

The council tabled the proposed changes until its next meeting.

Committees update council

Committee chairs updated the council on the progress of their committees.

Chair of the Committee on Educational Policy and Next House representative Jeremy D. Sher '99 said that during the next two weeks the CEP will be sending out a flyer to all undergraduates describing the faculty rules governing exams so that students can know when professors are scheduling assignments illegally.

The CEP also is working on a comment line on a Web page for students to send the committee comments and suggestions.

Chair of the Social Committee Rita H. Lin '00 said that the Social Committee has been working with the Campus Activities Complex Program Board to organize Spring Weekend, which begins on April 25.

"We have a lot of events around, and most events are free," except for the Alpha Phi Omega Spring Carnival, tickets for which will cost a nominal fee, Lin said.

The Committee on Student Life will be releasing a survey on school spirit during the next few weeks, Gordon said.

The impetus for the survey grew out of the idea that "MIT itself has a negative effect on school spirit," Gordon said. The survey will try to find out if people feel they had more school spirit when they were in high school and if spirit declines the longer students are MIT.

The survey will specifically look at whether students attend events held by groups outside the activities they regularly participate in as evidence of their spirit.

The survey will be distributed as part of Gordon's main assignment for Managerial Psychology Laboratory (15.301) and also will be available on the Web.