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Before the general proceedings, Senate hosted Provost L. Rafael Reif. The Provost spoke regarding the ongoing efforts to trim the Institute’s budget. Unlike most other institutions of higher learning, Provost Reif noted that MIT did not have a budget deficit the year before the recession hit, and as a result, it is feasible for MIT to make the budget cuts slowly—over the course of three years instead all at once. The Provost hopes that this will enable MIT to come out of the ordeal stronger and more efficient because of the cuts. He likewise ensured that MIT’s goals, such as academic and research standards, are still being held in high regard, despite the financial hold.

Two pieces of policy legislation were passed by Senate last Monday. One of these bills updated the Undergraduate Association’s Constitution to keep it current with the minor changes over the past few years, but none of these updates altered the spirit of the document. The enumeration of the Standing Committees was moved from the Constitution to the Senate Bylaws because they frequently change, and the Constitution should be reserved for founding principles, which should stay constant. The second policy-related bill mandates that the balance of the Fresh Fund, Senate Discretionary Fund, and the Invested Reserve be published along with descriptions of these three Senate accounts. Senate also funded two student groups last Monday: The MIT Satellite Team received a $3000 loan, and Zeta Beta Tau’s Seventh Annual Battle of the Bands received $600 of funding.

Athletics Weekend begins this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. with a free campus-wide barbeque at the Z-Center overhang. A baseball double header will be begin at noon, a men’s lacrosse game at 1:00 p.m, and men’s tennis match at 3:00 p.m. Lightweight crew and the sailing team also have morning competitions. At each event throughout the day, the Athletics Committee will be giving out free “Beaver Fever” t-shirts to everyone who attends a sporting event. At 4 p.m., the BeaverBowl competition — a gladiator-style team competition — will take place on Barry Field (or Johnson Ice Rink in the case of inclement weather). This will be an epic battle for prizes, pride, and the title “BeaverBowl Champions!” Be sure to come out and support your athletic teams this Saturday — rain or shine!

Additionally, the Athletics Committee is working with the varsity sports teams to communicate to DAPER concerns about the budget cuts and their impact on students.

Spring Weekend tickets continue to be on sale at http://sao.mit.edu/tickets/.

—Elizabeth Denys, UA Secretary General