Fishbowl Relocation Shows Little Regard For Tradition or Thrift
There are many arguments for and against the closedown of the Fishbowl Athena cluster. Those opposed to removal argue that the convenience of having a cluster in the Infinite Corridor outweighs the benefits of a larger Student Services Center. Those for the expanded office see it as a benefit that will keep them from having to trek across campus to accomplish simple bureaucratic tasks.
One big problem is that at MIT, many changes are made with little regard for tradition. There are very few traditions at MIT that have broad-based appeal. For better or worse, Athena is a part of MIT that touches almost everyone. When a location that symbolizes many hard-working hours that we have spent as students is slated for demolition, it is hard not to feel some sort of remorse.
I also have to comment on the fiscal soundness of moving the Student Services Center in light of re-engineering. Within the last eight months, offices on the first and second floor of Building 11 have been remodeled, and the people who work there have just settled in. The remodeling was done as the result of recommendations of re-engineering teams. Soon, the people who work in those offices will have to be relocated to a new set of old quarters, which will also have to be remodeled.
There are many offices on the first floor of the Infinite Corridor that serve little or no student benefit and could be relocated to another part of campus. The Student Services Center could be moved or expanded there. Having students services scattered throughout the Infinite Corridor would still be better than having them scattered around campus and would save money.
Ultimately, I believe it is the fact that MIT does not cultivate what little tradition does have outside of academics that alumni feel very little regard for this place and are not motivated to give anything back.
Sameer Raheja G