The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 63.0°F | Partly Cloudy and Breezy


A 12 Step Program for Larry Benedict

Guest Column
Matthew McGann

I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Larry Benedict, formerly Dean of Students at the Johns Hopkins University, for being named our new Dean for Student Life. I had the honor of sitting on a focus group which interviewed each of the finalists, and Benedict, it was clear to me, would be the best fit for the Institute. The nationwide dean search was intense, and the hiring process was arduous.

However, the difficult part of being named dean has just begun. To be in charge of MIT student life, one must truly understand the unique culture of the Institute. In this spirit, I challenge Larry Benedict to take this the fall term to fully immerse himself in our intense, quirky, and never-dull environment.

I challenge you, Larry Benedict, to take on and complete these tasks. The only reward is your increased understanding of student life. I guarantee that if you do complete these labors, life will improve for 10,000 MIT students.

* Participate in this year’s rush. Visit at least five fraternities, four dorms (two east and two west of Kresge Oval), and three independent living groups. Attend Women’s Convocation. Tell your wife not to expect you home for the weekend and overnight at different living groups until the end of rush.

* Shadow UROP students at the Media Lab, Langer Labs, and the Center for Space Research. Later, shadow graduate students and compare experiences.

* Participate in a Physics I (8.01) study group for the first problem set. Stay up until the set is finished; if necessary, drink Jolt to stay awake.

* Attend the water polo game against Harvard. Mock the opposing team. Then, justify the level of funding for athletics, or raise it.

* Go to the fall Dance Troupe Concert. Be sure to buy your tickets early. Then, justify the level of funding of student activities, or raise it.

* For your first week in office, eat lunch at the following places: Lobdell, Gooseberry’s, Mary Chung’s, LaVerde’s, Walker. Then, justify the underprioritization of food service, or increase the Institute’s commitment to dining programs.

* Choose a wacky username (besides, benedict@mit is already taken, and larryb@mit might cause you to receive your boss’ mail). Log on to Athena, subscribe to white-magic and start a zephyr conversation. If you’re really adventurous, figure out how to install a zsig randomizer.

* Make your own web page. Tell us a little about yourself. Write your own HTML. If you need help, stop by SIPB.

* Put on some black jeans and a black t-shirt and show up on campus late on a Saturday night. Meet up with similarly dressed people and explore the Institute.

* Go to the Muddy Charles and have a few drinks with grad students. Find out which is the bigger gripe: lack of research funds, or escalating apartment rents.

* Go see a Lecture Series Committee movie. Discover the proper response to a person yelling “LSC.”

* Play a game of D league ice hockey. Treat the team to hot vanillas at Tosci’s after the game.

Matthew McGann ( served as president of the Undergraduate Association last year.