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Vest’s Comments Disturbing

I was disappointed in President Vest’s comments on the authorities’ reaction to the “explosion” in 10-250: “We have no choice but to hold them responsible.” This reaction to the malfunction of a store-bought device illustrates the administration’s disturbing trend toward blame and punishment rather than sympathy and support for its students. This stands in stark contrast to historical examples of solidarity, such as the “all tech men carry batteries” story, when students were apprehended attempting to hack Harvard.

There has been lots of discussion about building “community” at MIT. The recent reactions of President Vest to students’ errors in judgment alienate and antagonize segments of the fragile community that does exist. It saddens me that MIT is allowing external perceptions to affect its internal policies and its students.

Amory Wakefield ’96