The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 34.0°F | Overcast

Tech Must Contribute $2,000 For Activities Midway, Board Says

By Jeffrey Greenbaum


The Undergraduate Association-Graduate Student Council Judicial Board unanimously voted to fine The Tech $2,000 and place the organization on probation for its alleged violations of the Association of Student Activities’ Rush Rules.

The money will help fund the 2002 Activities Midway.

The Tech had appealed the ASA executive board’s decision to revoke part of The Tech’s office space for alleged ASA Rush Rules violations.

While JudBoard ruled that The Tech had, in fact, violated the rules, members agreed to replace the ASA’s sanction with a fine and probation.

In JudBoard’s verdict, H. Sanith Wijesinghe G, JudBoard Communication Chair, cited four occasions during which The Tech violated ASA Rush Rules. The board did not uphold the original punishment, however, because “we decided to confine the issue to the [Activities] Midway,” Wijesinghe said.

Fine replaces original sanctions

The ASA executive board’s decision to revoke part of The Tech’s office space came after The Tech appealed the initial decision to suspend The Tech from the 2001 Activities Midway.

Although the ASA executive board decided that its second punishment was less harsh than its first, JudBoard wanted to work within the framework of the ASA executive board’s original decision. In addition, JudBoard members felt that the original punishment was more appropriate since the violations occurred during rush, Wijesinghe said.

The ASA executive board had originally asked the UA and GSC for suggestions on how to sanction The Tech. ASA President Alvar Saenz Otero G said that he was told that “whatever the ASA executive board decides must be something that it could decide for any other group in a similar manner.”

The ASA executive board subsequently arrived at both of its decisions because members decided that those were the only realms in which they could rule. Although not every organization has an office, other organizations have a bulletin board or storage space. “All groups have some form of space as well as midway space,” Saenz Otero said.

The Tech relies on advertisements and related services for its revenue, receiving no student government funding, according to Chairman Jordan Rubin ’02. Rubin said this final sanction was still not a light punishment for The Tech.

Judicial process under review

Rubin said The Tech appealed the ASA executive board’s decision in an attempt to receive due process. Upon assessing the judicial process of the appeals case, Rubin said that “it wasn’t an easy task for [the UA-GSC JudBoard] to salvage due process ... since [the board] inherited a bad situation.”

In its verdict, JudBoard cited rules that Rubin claims The Tech did not receive until after they sent the editions in question to the press. “They said that we broke the rules that were given to us Friday night, but we had already gone to press with the Friday issue, the Saturday issue, and The Daily Confusion.”

Rubin said rules about how The Tech and the ASA could use witnesses were unclear. “I thought that I could introduce witnesses and that they could say a couple of words,” Rubin said. However, he said that he did not have enough time to tell witnesses about the time of the appeals case since he did not receive enough notice about its exact time.

The UA-GSC JudBoard will become a permanent body whose judicial authority will supercede that of the ASA executive board. Saenz Otero said that the ASA executive board, the UA, and the GSC will discuss the guidelines by which the UA-GSC JudBoard will conduct hearings and amend their constitutions in order to provide the UA-GSC JudBoard with the appropriate jurisdiction over student activities.

“There are still a lot of flaws in the process that still need to be ironed out,” Rubin said.