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MITFCU to Open Branch in W20

Students who bank at the MIT Federal Credit Union will no longer have to trek to the Technology Square office as renovations to place a new branch office in the former Game Room on the first floor of the Student Center nears completion.

The new branch office will open for business Monday, Aug. 6, according to MITFCU CEO Brian W. Ducharme. A larger opening event is scheduled mid-September. Services provided at the branch will be the same as those currently offered at Technology Square, Ducharme said.

The credit union applied to occupy the space last August after MIT re-negotiated its contract with Bank of America, according to Ducharme; the new contract allows competing financial service institutions in the Student Center for the first time. Bank of America also has a branch on the first floor of the Student Center.

“It’s something that we’ve been looking to do for 15 to 20 years,” Ducharme said.

Ducharme said that he expects student membership in the credit union to increase with the more central presence on campus. Currently 26 percent of credit union members are students, with about 2,500 of those being undergraduates, he said.

No representatives of the Campus Activities Complex were available this week to comment on the re-opening date of the downsized game room. CAC officials have previously said that the game room is expected to retain its most popular games, including Dance Dance Revolution.

—Rosa Cao

2,000 Students Elect to Pay Summer Athletics Fee

Approximately 2,000 MIT students have chosen to pay for summer access to the Zesiger Center and other Department of Athletics and Physical Education facilities. According to Tim J. Moore, manager of the Zesiger Center, 1,707 students paid $40 for the entire summer, 286 paid $25 for a single month, and 34 paid $15 for a single week.

DAPER instituted the fee for the first time this summer; during the term, and in recent years, during the summer, access to athletics facilities has been paid for by the mandatory Student Activities Fee. The fee is currently $200 per year, but is going up to $236 for the 2007-2008 academic year.

Julie Soriero, DAPER’s new director, said that there was currently no timeline for deciding whether the summer athletics fee would continue in summer 2008. She said that she expects there to be further discussion and communication on this issue.

—John A. Hawkinson

Weekend Power Outage Affects 18 MIT Buildings

An NSTAR generator failure left six MIT buildings, including undergraduate dormitory Random Hall (NW61), without power Saturday night. A failed cable splice caused a power interruption, which was followed by the generator failure, according to Michael Durand, a spokesperson for NSTAR.

The initial interruption occurred around 6 p.m. on the night of Saturday, July 28, according to Durand. The power failure occurred during Saturday night’s lightening storm, Durand said. “We can’t say for sure, but it was likely storm-related.” The generator failed around midnight.

According to Jennifer Garland, an administrative assistant for the Department of Facilities, power was out for an extended period of time in six buildings: NW61, N42, N51, N52, N57, and NW62. Garland said the earlier interruption affected 12 buildings (N70, W53, W92, W85, 32, 50, W13, W, E15, W91, W11, and W15). Power was restored to all buildings by 7 a.m. Sunday morning.

—Angeline Wang