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Fishbowl Move Shows No Concern for Students

Douglas E. Heimburger '00 makes some strong arguments against relocating the Fishbowl ["Fishbowl Should Not Have to Vacate Building 11 Location," Feb. 4]. His opinion reflects much of the student sentiment toward this announcement, which is, sadly, another example of MIT's ultimate lack of clue and concern for the student body. This unsound decision undermines the administration's previous efforts to amend its image since the fall term controversy over restructuring of the Dean's Office.

It is true that many, including me, appreciate the new Student Services Center. However, with servicing the student body in mind, does MIT consider taking an existing convenience away in exchange for a new one something we all should cheer about? Instead of considering what is most convenient for the administration, MIT should try looking at students' perspective before setting the priorities for these decisions. Why does the center need to expand beyond its current location? Why can't it be moved one floor above the Fishbowl? Compared to walking to E19 maybe twice a year to sign notes or request transcripts, I don't mind walking up one flight of stairs above the Infinite Corridor.

For the same reasons Heimburger suggests, the Fishbowl should not be moved, especially not to Building 12, where it is both inconvenient and unnecessary. If administrators ever walked out of their offices and for one day lived life as a student, they would better appreciate being able to drop by the Fishbowl to quickly check e-mail before running off to class, during a break between lectures, or after a weekend shopping trip. The key word is "drop by" as opposed to "going to" the Student Center or Building 12. Every Athena-conscious MIT student has come to appreciate the Fishbowl for its convenience and unique charm. Robbing from us the only Athena cluster that has a nickname is nothing an "expanded" version of the Student Services Center or a new, "more visible" Building 56 cluster can make up for.

If student opinion really does matter, as administrators often claim during interviews with The Tech, we as students should speak up before too much of the relocation has taken place. The Tech should publish an address comments regarding the Fishbowl issue should be sent, and if every dissatisfied student sends an e-mail, then maybe the administrators will finally get the point.

Aileen Tang '99

[Editor's Note: Students can e-mail Director of Administration and Operations Stephen D. Immerman at or Vice President for Information Systems James D. Bruce ScD '60 at]