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Former UA VP Not Registered

By Beckett W. Sterner

and Kelley Rivoire


Former Undergraduate Association Vice President Phillip A. Vasquez ’05 was not registered as a student this term, according to the Registrar.

Registrar Assistant Pauline J. Blair said that the last date Vasquez had officially attended classes was May 21.

Both UA President Harel M. Williams ’05 and Senate Speaker Rose A. Grabowski ’05 said they were unaware Vasquez was not currently registered.

Vasquez refused to comment.

Williams said Vasquez had appeared to be a normal student in doing homework and taking tests. “I saw him going to class and doing schoolwork,” he said.

“I guess it’s something that you take for granted, that they’re telling you the truth that they’re a registered student,” Grabowski said. She said Vasquez had complained about classes just as much as everyone else.

According to the UA’s constitution, an officer of the UA must be considered an undergraduate student at MIT, defined as “a person considered by the Registrar of MIT to be making adequate progress towards at least one undergraduate degree.”

Williams said Vasquez’s not being registered was not the problem per se, but rather that no one knew.

“I think it depends on the understanding of the student body,” he said. “If the student body is aware that the officer is not going to be registered for classes, that would be appropriate.” However, if students are not, it is “a bit questionable.”

Williams said that whether UA officials should be registered students is “definitely a conversation that has to be had with students” to see how they feel about it.

“We really look for students to police themselves” to see whether officials of student groups are registered, said Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict.

The UA vice president’s not being a registered student is “something that’s not come up before,” he said.

“Clearly, we need to look into the matter,” he said, and will bring it up at his next meeting with UA officials.

Registration needed for housing

It is not clear how Vasquez was able to get housing in Simmons without being a registered student.

In general, housing policy at MIT requires that someone be a registered student to qualify for housing in a dormitory, said Benedict.

“We routinely screen to make sure students in housing are enrolled,” he said.

However, it is possible for students to have “slipped through the cracks,” Benedict said, although “we do check student status for housing purposes.”