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Globe Editorial Blatantly Unfair

On November 2, The Boston Globe printed a scathing editorial entitled “A little slow at MIT” that had many false statements and implications and was neither worth printing nor worth reading. I am ashamed that The Boston Globe was willing to print so terrible an editorial. Nevertheless, since I made the mistake of reading it, I take upon myself the task of clarifying the blatant errors of the author.

First of all, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at MIT lost its license from Boston because they made some mistakes. I won’t defend them; I’ll just inform you that they aren’t stubborn, as the author claims. They were just trying to have fun. They needed to learn some responsibility.

The next paragraph of the editorial implies that MIT fraternities are the only location where alcohol is served to minors. I somehow doubt that. And remember that none of this would have happened if those Wellesley women had known their limits.

As is usual among the uninformed, the author resorts to a reference to everyone’s favorite MIT fraternity mistake, the Krueger incident. He reports the facts well enough, but then suggests that this is a great reminder to MIT students. A reminder that we should stop all underage drinking? A reminder that the press likes to badmouth MIT students to make themselves feel better? Every now and then, even the country’s brightest science and engineering students make mistakes while trying to have a good time. Either the author didn’t have any fun by trying something new during college, or he’s a hypocrite.

Regarding MIT’s current and future actions toward SAE, it is very likely that it will be derecognized in the near future and the students will move into dorms or apartments. The fact that the resident adviser was not at the event does not surprise me. The resident adviser system was created to help placate the city of Boston. The RA was likely in lab, as most graduate students are for 60 hours a week.

Binge drinking is no worse at MIT than it is at other schools. Accusing MIT fraternities of being worse for students and having no benefit is a foolish mistake on the author’s part. There are completely dry fraternities, and all the fraternities at which I personally know members have many non-drinking members.

The FSILGs are a boon to MIT. They provide a sense of community and spirit that MIT could not live without. They are important academically. The author’s statement that they are “a decaying throwback and cry out for dismissal and decertification” is completely and utterly false.

Nicholas A. White ’02