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News Briefs

GSC to Hold Graduate
Student Formal in May

The first-ever GradGala, organized by the Graduate Student Council, will be held May 5 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, to be preceded by a reception at Edgerton House graduate dormitory. Workshops on dining etiquette, dress codes, and how to dance will also be held in the months before the dance. The new event will be open to all graduate students and their dates.

GradGala was created as a way to honor the graduating graduate students, said Eva Kassens, a member of the GSC and Gala committee.

The dance and dress code workshops will be free, but prices for the dining etiquette workshop will depend on the number of people who want to attend.

All current funds come from the GSC, including $38,000 for the ball, $10,000 for the reception, and $1,500 for workshops, Kassens said. Ticket prices, though not yet finalized, should be below $30 per person for the ball and reception. “If this first gala is a success,” Kassens said, “we will have the option to gain outside funding and likely financial support from the dean of graduate students, which will be essential features for the gala to continue.”

To spread the word about the GradGala, the GSC will hold a logo design competition; the winner will receive two tickets. For more information, see

—Sohyun Park

Weak Pipe Joint Caused
Water Main Accident

A tear at a joint connecting the 12-inch cast iron pipe on the corner of Main and Ames St. was found to be the main cause for MIT’s water crisis on Jan. 17. The City of Cambridge Water Department repaired the broken joint by replacing it with a new joint and a coupling.

According to Sam Corda, the managing director of the city’s water department, the old cast iron pipes are prone to cracking. “The temperature difference between the warmer underground and the cold weather put a stress on the old cast-iron pipe,” Corda said.

Since the mid-1990s, the Water Department has been working towards a long-term solution, replacing old cast iron pipes with newer, more malleable ductile iron pipes. They plan to replace about 180 miles of the outdated cast iron pipes over the next 30–40 years, Corda said.

David J. McCormick, director of operations in the Department of Facilities, also explained that MIT will have to pay for the damage caused by this accident, which occurred in E19. “At this point the collected costs are approximately $10,000, but that number will grow as the costs associated with repairs and restoration continue to be collected,” McCormick said.

Twenty-one MIT buildings were affected by the pipe rupture and lost their steady water supply for about one day.

—JiHye Kim