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Letters to the Editor

Other Universities
Need Better
Admission Policies

I would like to comment on the recent decision by several universities to abandon early admission policies. This is a step in the right direction to level the playing field for low-income and minority students. However, much more should be done before these institutions start patting themselves on their respective backs.

From working in the admissions office for two years as an undergraduate, I think MIT has had it right for years. MIT admits applicants based on merit, and awards financial packages based on need, creating one of the most egalitarian admission systems in the country.

Before these other universities start toasting each other, they should take a hard look in the mirror about their admission policies regarding applicants who are legacies, children of donors, and athletes, who otherwise would not have been admitted over another applicant. Until they do, the college admissions process will never truly be fair.

Alvin M. Lin ‘04

Rush Article
Again Inaccurate

I apologize for the second letter in just as many weeks, but once again, the Interfraternity Council finds itself dismayed over The Tech’s reporting of a recent event: the end of Rush. Not only were some of the printed statistics incorrect, but certain numbers that we specifically said that we did not want to release were found through other means: by asking a student who was not involved in the higher-level management of Rush at all.

Now, I understand that in the real world reporters do anything and everything to get a story. But I’d like to think that at MIT we have higher standards and more respect for our fellow students; the reporter should not have gone around the IFC to get her answers anyway. Furthermore, she chose to speculate on the nature of certain rules rather than asking those who would know best. As a result, two-thirds of the article was incorrect.

For the sake of informing the MIT community, and especially the 2010s, I’d like to make a few corrections to Tuesday’s recap on Rush:

There is a reason why we chose not to release high and low pledge counts. Tau Epsilon Phi, the house citied as having zero pledges (which, by the way, is false: they have one with more pending), does not pledge traditionally: their bids are open forever. This is actually true for many chapters. Rush is only the beginning of fraternity recruitment, and not the end, so to release high and low marks in order to judge success is misleading and can be easily misconstrued. This is why we refrained from sharing this information with the reporter; it’s a shame that it was obtained anyway.

The IFC told The Tech that at least three upperclassmen pledged (I am currently working on getting a final count). This was incorrectly stated as “only” in the sub-headline of the article.

The article claims that: “The Clearinghouse system […] was still controversial among fraternities and pledges.” There cannot be any basis to this claim, since official Rush feedback meetings for the IFC community have not yet begun.

There isn’t a “no camping” rule. Camping, a formal action associated with Clearinghouse in the past, was voted out of the Recruitment Rules last spring by the Rush Chairs. I can guarantee you that each Rush Chair who voted to remove it had his own reasons for doing so. Furthermore, asking freshmen how they liked this change doesn’t hold much weight — none of them were around last year when camping was in place.

The so-called “Gag Rule” is, first off, an Orientation Rule and has never been in place during Rush itself. Second, the rule hasn’t existed since 2004; this was not the first year without it.

Rush was a positive experience, and with the current pledge count at 290, I can assure you that most of our chapters are also very content. The Greek community would love to continue sharing its accomplishments with the rest of the Institute through The Tech, but the writing staff must first begin to report more ethically and with better accuracy.

Akil J. Middleton ’08

IFC Recruitment Chair