Safe Ride Story Incomplete
On behalf of the Graduate Student Council, I would like to thank the administration for their action to address students' transportation concerns. However, I was disappointed that factual errors seemed to lead to misplaced emphasis in reporting the story to the community ("Express Runs Added to Safe Ride Services,'' Nov. 10).
The article states that on Aug. 5, the two groups (Graduate Student Council and the Undergraduate Association) co-wrote a letter to Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow '72 asking for larger vans, daytime shuttles, and new stops in areas where many graduate students live. In fact, that letter was written by Constance C. Lai G, then chair of the GSC's Housing and Community Affairs Committee, and me.
While the GSC conferred with UA Committee on Student Life Chair Michael C. Won '01, O. Robert Simha MCP '56 and Lydia S. Snover of the Planning Office, John McDonald of the Office of Parking and Transportation, and Dean for Student Life Margaret R. Bates to develop this letter, none of these people can be considered co-authors. At the time, the UA's Executive Committee was reluctant to take any official action because UA President Paul T. Oppold '99 and many council members were away for the summer.
The article goes on to quote the reactions of a couple undergraduate students to the expansion of Safe Ride. Considering GSC's involvement in the expansion, would it not be appropriate to include the reactions of graduate students? For example, graduate students - who live in apartments, in a much more dispersed pattern than the undergraduate fraternities, sororities and independent living groups - would be more likely to value a more liberal request stop policy than undergraduates would.
Finally, the article mentions a committee being formed to examine shuttles at MIT, which will include representation from "two undergraduate students and a graduate student.'' A Nov. 4 memo from Professor Alexander R. Klibanov, chair of the transportation and parking committee, mentioned the formation of this task group, but it did not specify numbers of representatives from the GSC and the UA. The GSC was under the impression that it would have an equal number of representatives as the UA, since graduate students slightly outnumber undergraduates at MIT.
M. Scott Ramming G
Member, GSC Housing and
Community Affairs Committee