The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 37.0°F | Fair

UA Q&A

By Harel Williams and Rose Grabowski

UA coordinating committee members

Dear UA,

What do the Class Councils do? I know we elected some last spring and some this fall, and I’ve been seeing tons of posters lately for class events like The Matrix pre-screening and Halloween at Salem -- so does Class Council just try to do entertainment/social sort of stuff?

-- Neo-phyte

Class Councils are more than just a social group -- their goals are to promote class unity, which includes a lot of social events like a formal and class trips, and to be advocates for the issues and concerns of their class. They represent their fellow students when talking with administrators and faculty and are able to press topics that could potentially influence the lives of their constituents.

In addition, they assist students with career planning, including the Career Fair and other job search activities, plan community service events and opportunities, and select the Ring Committee which designs and displays each class’ Brass Rat.

So your Class Council really serves to unify the class and bring forth their concerns to the larger community. If you want to get involved with your Class Council, e-mail them at 200xCOUNCIL@mit.edu.

Dear UA,

I saw that the Graduate Student Council had a whole bunch of events last weekend to celebrate their 50th anniversary -- how old is the UA? Why don’t we get any cool events on our anniversaries? No way we’re gonna let the GSC out-party us!

-- Overgrad, not Undergrad

After a little research, we discovered that there isn’t a simple answer to that. It turns out that the origins of our current undergraduate student government are based on something called the Institute Committee, InsComm for short, which began in 1893. So in certain ways you could say we’re 110 years old (take that, grad students!). This committee started off as a group of ten people with two to three members from each class, but grew and evolved throughout the early 20th century to include more members and many subcommittees. In 1913, the Undergraduate Association was formed to supplement InsComm and provide a larger forum for undergraduates. So, if you consider that, then this is in fact our 90th anniversary. However, the UA continued to change and a new constitution was drafted and approved in 1969 to better organize the students and more effectively represent student opinion. That makes us 34. But, any way you look at it, the UA is damn old. Time to party like it’s 1969! Or 1913. Or whatever.

Dear UA,

I’ve been seeing posters around campus asking for input on where to put bike racks --what is this for? Are the bike-riders unionizing and forming a coalition for equal rights at MIT?

-- Speedracer

The bikers are not unionizing that we know of -- however, one of the UA Senators from Baker, Jennifer Peng, has made it her project to get more bike racks around campus. It seems that the ones that exist at the moment are always full and a lot of the time it’s hard to find a place to secure your bipedal vehicle.

So she is going around taking pictures of the current state of things as evidence of the need for more racks, and then will look into facilitating the regular replenishment of racks by the school as well as getting additional funds from MIT to buy more racks to be strategically placed.

So if you have an idea of where more bike racks are needed, let Jen know at jpeng@mit.edu so she can better help her fellow bike-lovers.

Got more questions? E-mail uaqa@mit.edu with your quizzicality. Want more information on any of the issues raised this week? Visit http://web.mit.edu/ua/www/uaqa.