Security Tightens in Expectation of ZhuBy Karen E. Robinson
ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR
MIT announced last week that access to several campus buildings will be restricted or not allowed tomorrow due the visit of Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji.
Stratton Student Center will be closed from 2 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Beginning at 5 a.m., Amherst Alley from Ashdown to Endicott Street (between Baker House and Theta Delta Chi) will be closed to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Access to McCormick House, Green Hall, and Baker House will be from Memorial Drive only during those hours. Access to Bexley Hall will be from Massachusettes Avenue only; Bexley Alley will be closed.
In addition, students in those houses will be required to have all windows closed, according to Dean for Student Life Margaret R. Bates.
The Kresge Parking lot will be closed from 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13 to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14. Kresge Parking lot permit holders should use the West Garage.
The Religious Activities Building (W11) will be closed beginning at 11 p.m. on April 13. Athletics in buildings W23, W31, W32, and W32, will be cancelled tomorrow as well. Everything will reopen at 1 p.m.
Campus Police preparations
According to Chief of MIT Police Anne P. Glavin, security arrangements for Zhu’s visit are similar to those for Clinton’s visit last year. Campus Police are working with the Secret Service, Massachusetts State Police, Cambridge Police, and Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Police, Glavin said.
“We’ve designated a couple of areas for people to gather,” Glavin said, then cited the grassy area between Stratton Student Center and Bexley Hall and the lawn between Memorial Drive and the Charles River. Glavin expects both “well-wishers who definitely want to openly greet the premier” and “those who have a variety of issues and concerns,” she said.
Access to the above houses will be granted only to residents during these hours. McCormick Housemaster Charles Stewart III sais that at McCormick House there will be a deskworker and a police officer by the back door, sometimes accompanied by a nightwatchman, checking entering student ID’s between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m.
In response to the restrictions, one McCormick resident said, “I think it sucks!,” while others said that the access changes will not affect their daily schedule noticably.
Stewart said that the restrictions will “materially affect the practical lives of hundreds of residents” and said he wished that there had been more consultation with students and housemasters and managers. “The first I heard about this was in Tech Talk” on Wednesday, Stewart said.
Marc Seman, manager of La Verdes’ Market, says that while “I do understand the need for protection,” as a businessman he “is not happy about” the closure of Stratton Student Center. “I’ll lose a third of my business for the day,” Seman said.
A Student Center Coop manager said that Coop sales are not expected to be affected much, as this is not a busy time of year.