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Student of the Month

A New Cancer

By Devdoot Majumdar


The signs of fall are fast appearing. By now, the first prefrosh act of copulation has already occurred; I’ve overheard the groan-like shrieking of what must be at least four drunk Koreans at 5 a.m., and I’ve seen my first set of “KAQ” letters adorn a door down the hall from me.

By the way, Nancy, whoever you are, the look of unbridled disgust at your reaction to seeing your gold paint pen-enhanced letters for the first time was not meant for you -- it was only in response to my dawning acknowledgement of the thousands of insecure, saccharine, boring people I will have to face in the coming months.

The insulation and obliviousness of summer have gone the way of our cuddly friends at Aramark, and now, at least for me, it’s time to muster up the patience and intestinal fortitude for another term with you.

I’ve long dreamed of having my own little dumping ground at The Tech. Since my days of sleeping on the fourth floor of the Student Center, The Tech has really come into its own. With that proverbial nose for news (see page 1, or consider the stories on rafts, flags, and Aimee Smith’s new candidacy) and the courageous work of an unedited ombudsman who abandons pleasant diction for the sake of journalistic integrity (see page 5), The Tech is a campus institution that needs only to rest on its solid reputation.

And so, it seemed only fitting that, as a rising senior, it was time to get a weekly scratching post at The Tech, while simultaneously sharing my incisive commentary and spending all the social currency I’ve racked up over the years.

Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this. As a freshman, I dearly wished I could put together a gossip column for The Tech. Journalistic ethics aside, there are plenty of serious issues on this campus that merit a gossip column: we have issues with the illiteracy of elected officials, we have our occasional Larry Bacows (Lawrence S. Bacow ’72, chancellor of MIT from 1998 to 2001, worked to remake the residence system into what it is today), and heaven only knows the full potential of what a drunk frat boy can do.

But seriously now, a column of assorted musings could be of infinite value. Don’t you think it’s about time for someone to advise Aimee Smith* with some PR tips for the upcoming election? Don’t you think it’s time for someone to find and critique all of the Friendster profiles of MIT football team members? Don’t you think it’s time to fully explore how much damage a tarnished reputation (at MIT and Google) can do to one’s job availability by interviewing the Alvin Lins* of years past?

Well, I do. If you have a fun idea or are interested in getting set up on a Tech-sponsored blind date with free dinner and entertainment, let me know at

*You’ll figure out who these people are soon enough.