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Athena Wastes More Time than Elevator

Athena Wastes More Time than Elevator

The proposal to solve student time pressures by Naveen Sunkavally '01, ["Student Center Express," March 10] misses an essential point that I have observed throughout my stay at MIT: The average student that takes the elevator to the fifth floor of the Student Center heads for the Athena cluster to surf the Web, exchange e-mail, zephyr with friends, or play games. Obviously, these activities decrease efficiency, since students are diverted from their academic tasks.

I have experimentally observed, although not quantitatively measured, that the time effectively spent in an Athena cluster is very often longer than a priori expected. Therefore, an express elevator that may save a few seconds per trip would encourage students to go to the Athena cluster and devote more time to leisure activities.

It seems obvious that keeping the "slow, decrepit elevators" or even reducing their speed would be an efficient method to deter students from going to the Athena cluster, thus letting them focus on their academic tasks.

If Mr. Sunkavally continues his research on such a fascinating topic, it will be a serious candidate for the Ig Nobel prize.

Luis Garcia-Delgado G