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News Briefs

SafeRide Changes Implemented

A series of changes to SafeRide and shuttle schedules were instituted on Tuesday. All SafeRide routes will stop running 30 minutes earlier each night. The Northwest shuttle will now run all year on weekdays but will stop running 40 minutes earlier. Riders on the Northwest shuttle will also be able to request stops at Hotel@MIT. Finally, Edgerton will be the second stop on the Cambridge East SafeRide route.

These particular changes were put into effect due in part to the efforts of a group of graduate students led by Graduate Student Council representative Natalija Z. Jovanovic G. Earlier this year, due to impending budget cuts, the Parking and Transportation Office proposed cutting off Northwest shuttle services after 2 p.m., reasoning that students served by this line could use the non-MIT, EZ Ride shuttle. According to Jovanovic, the proposal upset graduate students who felt the EZ Ride route did not provide enough stops on campus to serve as an effective Northwest substitute.

This group of graduate students created a new proposal, met with administration and solicited feedback from the undergraduate community. Jovanovic said that the current changes to SafeRide were “based on ridership numbers provided by the PTO,” which showed that “a 30-minute reduction in SafeRide service would affect approximately 20 students per day.”

Further changes will be implemented starting in September. During the school year, the Tech Shuttle will run every 10 minutes, instead of every 20, from 7:55 a.m. to 9:55 a.m. and the Northwest Shuttle will run every 10 minutes from 7:25 a.m. to 9:25 a.m.

Larry R. Brutti, operations manager at PTO, declined to comment due to lack of time.

Printable routes are available at http://mit.edu/facilities/transportation/shuttles/.

Gabriel Fouasnon

Downed Wires Result in Campus Police Station Power Outage

The Campus Police Station lost power last Friday evening when the raised bed of a dump truck caught on and pulled down power lines, according to Captain David Carlson. Several building on the west end of campus — W59, W89, N42, NW61, NW62, W11, and N57 — also lost power. All of the buildings were on an NSTAR power grid, not an MIT power grid.

The power outage meant that people calling on a cellular phone needed to dial 911 instead of the campus police’s phone number. They were then routed to the Massachusetts State Police in Framingham, MA and on to either the Cambridge Police Department or the campus police. This did not cause any problems for anybody, Carlson said, though being routed to different departments did mean a delay.

Normally the police station’s diesel-fueled emergency generator would kick on in the case of a power outage. However, last Friday there was a computer programming error that prevented it from turning on during the power outage. The generator had been tested during drills and had worked, Carlson said. The generator has since been reprogrammed, he said.

Undergraduate students were notified of the outage in an e-mail from Undergraduate Association President Andrew T. Lukmann ’07. Director of Utilities Randall Preston said that during normal hours an operations center would e-mail department officers to notify them of any emergencies or outages. However, he said, this alert system becomes harder to maintain outside of normal work hours although the operations center is staffed around-the-clock.

Carlson did not know if faculty, staff, or graduate students were notified about last Friday’s outage. He said that a possible alternative or complement to e-mail alerts may be a notification on MIT’s home Web page.

Marie Y. Thibault

Big Jimmy Scholarship Exceeds $50K

The James (“Big Jimmy”) E. Roberts Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, named for the East Campus and Senior House security guard who passed away in 2005, has met its goal of $50,000. The now-sustainable scholarship will be given preferentially to East Campus and Senior House residents, provided that there is a financially eligible candidate from one of the two dorms.

“The kids at MIT did a wonderful job in selling and raising money,” said Kim Roberts Beaudoin, Roberts’ daughter, in an e-mail. A mural was created in Roberts’ honor at the Stata Amphitheater in May.

Since Roberts’ death, residents of the two dormitories have worked to raise money for the scholarship, which will be distributed through the MIT Financial Services Office. Students have sold hot dogs and “Women of The East Side” calendars to support the fund. Additionally, money collected at this year’s Steer Roast was donated to the Jimmy Fund.

Benjamin P. Gleitzman

MITPAY Error Forces
Self-Calculated Payment

Student account information omitted anticipated financial aid awards when the statements were posted to MITPAY in July, forcing students and parents to individually calculate the amount owed to MIT by August 1. MITPAY is an electronic billing and payment system accessible to students and authorized users, including parents.

Director of Financial Aid Daniel Barkowitz said that the error was due to a computer glitch which was resolved within a day. He said that the online statements could not be adjusted once the bills had been posted, but that Student Financial Services assisted students and parents in calculating the amount owed. “Our phone volume was very busy after [the error],” Barkowitz said.

A statement on MITPAY’s message board directed students to WebSIS, MIT’s student information system, to determine the actual amount due. It also suggested that students and parents read their paper award letter sent by mail to determine the expected amount of aid.

Because the due date for the payments was August 1, Barkowitz said that he does not yet know how many students may have accidentally paid the incorrect amount. However, he said that if students find that has happened, MIT “will be sympathetic.”

Marissa Vogt

Admissions Releases Detailed Look at Class of 2010

Roughly a month before their arrival on campus, statistics on the incoming class of 2010 students is available. This year’s class is 55 percent male and 45% female and from every state except for South Dakota, according to a blog maintained by Associate Director of Admissions Matthew L. McGann ’00. McGann said that admissions statistics for the past several years demonstrate “extremely competitive admissions rates” and continued increases in the yield rate. Yield rates for the class of 2007 were 58.8 percent and have increased steadily to 66.7 percent for the class of 2010. This pattern is “alot about the number of students applying and the number of schools they are applying to,” said McGann. Likewise, the percentage of students admitted has decreased, with a 16.4 percent admittance rate for the class of 2007 and a 13.3 percent admittance rate for the class of 2010.

For a more complete list of statistics, please see the table on page 10.

Marie Y. Thibault

Dunkin’ Donuts Construction To Begin in a Week

Construction on the new Dunkin’ Donuts in the Student Center will start “in a week or so,” according to Richard D. Berlin III, director of campus dining. The construction, which was originally expected to begin in July, should be finished by the end of August. Representatives from Alpine Bagels, Dunkin’ Donuts, the MIT Department of Facilities, Dining Office, and Card Office met this past Monday to finalize design plans. Alpine Bagels will be replaced with a Dunkin’ Donuts and there will be some changes to the Cambridge Grill as well, in order to make room for the Dunkin’ Donuts. The Cambridge Grill is may also undergo changes that will speed up its operations and service, Berlin said. For example, grill customers currently have to fill out a paper form when placing an order, but may soon be able to place their order verbally.

In the case that the construction is not completed by the time classes start, Dunkin’ Donuts will operate a kiosk with its more popular items in the dining area of the restaurant.

Drawings of the construction plans have been sent to the city as part of an application for a construction permit. A go-ahead from the city should come sometime soon, Berlin said.

Marie Y. Thibault

Sexuality Health Educator Stuart Leaving MIT

After a five year stay at MIT, the Institute’s only sexuality health educator Laura A. Stuart has decided to transfer to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to work as a sexuality health educator there. “I decided to move since I wanted to work somewhere closer to Chicago where my family is living,” Stuart explained.

MIT is currently looking for Stuart’s replacement.

“There wasn’t a sexuality health educator at MIT before I came,” Stuart said. “It is very important to have such programs on campus, and I feel as if I made a difference.”

Stuart arrived at MIT in November 2001. Along with being a health educator, Stuart was also a faculty advisor for Sigma Kappa and Third East beginning in 2004 and was a supporter of MIT Panhel. She co-advised two seminars: “Geek Girls, Computer Chicks” and “Sex and the Institute,” the second of which was featured on CNN.

Harsha Wasalathanthri