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How would you rate race relations at MIT on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being poorest and 5 being complete harmony?

How would you rate race relations at MIT on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being poorest and 5 being complete harmony?

“I’d give it a 2... There is a certain comfort in being with people like you, and because of time constraints at MIT, you end up with racially segregated groups. I don’t think race is as much a stigma as in other places -- you go to classes with different people but you don’t spend time with them outside of that.”

--Anthony M. Paris ’04

“I think it’s pretty good. I’ve never felt discriminated against. I have some African-American friends and they seem pretty happy. I went to another university for my undergraduate studies and there was much more tension there. I would be walking down the street and someone would drive by in a car and call me ‘Chink.’”

--Watjana Lilaonitkul G

“It’s a 4 -- I can’t think of any specific incidents, but I know that there have been intolerant students. Also during the fraternity incident a couple of years ago, the students’ actions were interpreted as racially intolerant, which indicates that the situation on campus is volatile.”

--Patrick Y. Kim ’04

“I can only speak to my own experience -- my friends are of every ethnic group because I make an effort to talk to everybody -- but there is something to be said about safety/ comfort/ security with people of your own group.”

-- Rayal P. Johnson ’03

“It’s 4 -- I haven’t noticed major problems. There is a lot of diversity on campus of which I’ve taken advantage, and so I’m happy with it. There is, however, segregation in housing, and I think the first year should be randomized.”

--Shaheer M. Hussam ’03

How would you rate race relations in the United States as a whole?

“It’s a 2. The only reason it’s not a 1 is because it’s clearly been worse in the past. Things aren’t as bad as in other places that have wars between races. I just saw a study that showed that in certain areas, the racial integration of blocks is the same as it was during the Civil Rights Movement years.”

--Adam B. Glassman G

“The situation in the country is worse than it is at MIT. From personal experiences, I would rate it a 4, but given the experiences of friends etc., I’d rate it a 3.”


Compiled by Melissa A. Edoh.