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First Issue for Prometheus, New Monthly Newspaper

By Frank Dabek

STAFF REPORTER

Prometheus, a new monthly newspaper on campus, published its first issue yesterday.

Scott D. Schneider ’00, the editor in chief of Prometheus, said that he created the paper to highlight the culture of “responsibility and freedom” that exists at MIT.

The official position of the paper will be to promote that culture. Schneider, the former president of MIT’s Objectivist club, said “it is possible to objectively form an opinion.” Articles in Prometheus will “state an opinion and show all of the facts,” he said.

Schneider decided to create a new paper instead of publishing articles in an existing periodical because of the unified philosophy of Prometheus, and because creating a paper demonstrates that the group was willing to “put forth the effort to put out our own [paper],” he said.

Sheeva Azma ’05, a Prometheus, staffer, said that she joined Prometheus because its “scope is narrow. ... The Tech has to cater to a lot of people,” she said.

Prometheus will publish once a month including issues in May and August.

ASA recognition not forthcoming

Although Prometheus has published its first issue, it has yet to obtain recognition from the Association of Student Activities as an MIT student group. Schneider said that the ASA initially denied the group recognition because of concerns about the paper’s sustainability.

The ASA agreed to accept distribution of the paper’s first issue as proof of sustainability, Schneider said, and he hopes to obtain the recognition soon. Representatives of the ASA were not available for comment last night.

Prometheus spent $800 on its first issue, Schneider said. Funding came from grants from the Dormitory Council and the Undergraduate Association, as well as some advertising.

Emily E. Cofer ’04, the president of DormCon, said that the council gave about $250 to Schneider to publish the first issue. DormCon felt that the “focus of the paper is ... relevant to all dorm members,” Cofer said. Cofer said that DormCon is not likely to fund future issues of Prometheus once the group obtains ASA recognition.

UA President Josiah D. Seale ’03 said that he provided $400 from the Bush fund for Prometheus’ first issue. The Bush fund is a discretionary fund controlled by the UA Coordinating Committee. The periodical will “help students get more involved, both by reading and writing,” Seale said.

The lack of ASA recognition also made it difficult for Prometheus to obtain space for the publication’s Web page. The current space used by Prometheus at http://web.mit.edu/prometheus/www is being provided by the Student Information Processing Board.