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Release the Results

The Tech urges the Undergraduate Association to promptly release the results of the housing poll to students. On Wednesday evening, the UA'sexecutive committee will meet to form an "action agenda" to present to the administration, as well as consider releasing the numerical data to students. Yesterday, PresidentPaulT. Oppold '99 said the release was likely, but not certain. The idea that theUAwould even consider not releasing numerical results from the poll is troubling.

Before releasing the results of the referendum to students, the UAhas already provided some of its analysis of the vote. Yesterday, the UA distributed its press release widely to students through e-mail lists. The release makes sweeping generalizations regarding the results of the referendum without providing hard statistics to back its claims. For example, the release states that a majority of voters oppose the housing of all freshmen on campus, but it does not provide vote totals or percentages of those who did actually oppose that initiative. We strongly feel that the UAshould have released the data from the survey before making its analysis of the situation public.

We are also concerned that the UA will inform the administration of a wider selection of the results of the poll before the student body. The UA exists to serve the undergraduate population of MIT, not the administration. The Tech is disturbed that the UA would choose to present findings to the administration before allowing the population it represents to learn the results and draw their own conclusions. Providing information to administrators before students serves little purpose, and only serves to further isolate the general student body from the administration.

Nothing will be lost by promptly providing the student body with the factual results of this poll. The UAshould release the results as soon as possible.