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Students head to Cambridge

Up to twelve MIT students will attend Cambridge University this fall in the first term of a five-year exchange between MIT and Cambridge University.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering Rohan Abeyartne said that the Mechanical Engineering department has offered places in the program to four students. The Chemical Engineering department will soon select students to attend the program.

As students have already departed for the summer, the Biology department feels that it is too late to select students and will probably not participate.

A chief concern of all three departments is that students will not make progress towards their degrees while at Cambridge. Faculty must make sure that the courses taken at Cambridge will fulfill MIT requirements.

The two universities originally intended to begin the exchange during the 2001-2002 school year, but administrators decided last month to pilot the program this year, allowing any problems to be resolved.

The student exchange is just one of the three components to the Cambridge/MIT Exchange. The other components include a large research collaboration between the two universities and the Science Enterprise Challenge, a project which will allow 12 British colleges to move scientific ideas into the marketplace.

-- Efren Guiterrez

Student Center receives new locks

As part of a $15,000 project aimed at improving security, the student offices on the fourth floor of the Student Center will be equipped with combination locks by mid-summer. The Campus Activities Complex and the Department of Facilities will fund the project, according to Associate Director for Programs Ted E. Johnson.

Association of Student Activities President Jennifer K. Chung ’01 said that the lock replacement initiative began after a string of recent thefts on the fourth floor, including a safe taken from the Technique office.

The new electronic Omnilock combination locks can store up to 100 individuals’ codes and retain audit logs of transactions. Johnson said that CAC will discourage groups from issuing individual combinations due to privacy concerns and to make administration of the locks easier.

Some groups have raised concerns about the security of the new locks. Jenwa Hsung ’00, an officer of the MIT Science Fiction Society, said that the group has concerns that combination locks are not as secure as key locks. The group is discussing the issue with ASA and CAC, Hsung said.

In addition to installing the Omnilocks, the project will replace key locks on all interior doors with newer and more secure key locks. Johnson said that all student offices, including those in Walker Memorial should receive new locks in the course of the next year following the work in the student center.

-- Frank Dabek

Coffeehouse renovations begin

A planned $300,000 renovation of the 24-hour Coffehouse will begin in mid-June. The renovations will revitalize the common space in the popular studying and socializing location on the third floor of the Stratton Student Center.

Saying that the coffeehouse is “the soul” of the student center, Campus Activities Complex Director Phillip J. Walsh has worked with the store’s student management over the past year to develop interior renovations that will allow common space to be accessible to all students even when the coffeehouse closes.

The Class of 1999 designated $15,000 to the space expansion and renovation project last year as their Senior Gift to the school. The architect responsible for the project will also be revamping the space currently occupied by Networks. Walsh has tentative plans to hold a re-naming contest for the diner-style Aramark eatery sometime in the fall.

-- Anna K. Benefiel

New fitness center gets $10M boost

The proposed new fitness center received a boost on Tuesday with the announcement of $10 million in new donations. Chairman of the Corporation Alex d’Arbeloff ’49 and Brit d’Arbeloff ’61 donated an additional $4 million to raise their total contribution to $12 million. Al Zesiger ’51 and Barrie Zesiger also donated $4 million, with Thomas P. Gerrity ’63 contributing the remaining $2 million.

The new facility will be built adjacent to the Johnson Athletic Center and will feature an Olympic-class swimming pool, squash courts, a multiple-activity court and a health fitness center. Construction begins this fall and is scheduled to conclude in June 2002.

-- Mike Hall