On Sunday, alleged pictures of the Class of 2012 ring design were sent to three dormitory mailing lists from a Gmail account impersonating the Class of 2012 Ring Committee. Members of the actual Ring Committee said they did not send the e-mail, but refused to confirm or deny if the pictures were genuine.
The e-mail was sent from firstname.lastname@example.org, and went to the Burton Conner, East Campus, and Senior House discussion lists around 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. It had the subject line “MIT 2012 Ringcomm ONLINE PREMIERE,” and claimed that the committee was revealing the design “slightly differently” this year. “Instead of a large event at Kresge, we’ve decided to go online,” the message read. The e-mail included six links to images that depict the ring’s bezel, skylines, shanks and hacker’s map.
The pictures are rendered in the same style as previous years’ designs. A former Ring Committee member, who asked to remain anonymous, speculated that the pictures could be drafts. “[The ring makers] make a lot of designs that the ring committee members pass around. We look at them, we circle things, we talk about what we don’t like,” he said. “When it gets to like the last three designs, they look like the final.”
The former Ring Committee member said he doubted the pictures showed the final design. He pointed out that in the picture of the Boston skyline, the engraving of the unit vectors extends too far down the side of the ring. “The actual machines won’t engrave that low,” he said.
If the pictures are genuine, this would be the second time in the past four years that the class ring design was leaked ahead of Ring Premiere. The Class of 2009 ring design was accidentally published on Athena a month before the premiere, raising questions about how closely the Ring Committee guards the design’s secrecy.
The class of 2012 Ring Committee would only confirm that the pictures were sent by an imposter. Two hours after the pictures were sent, RingComm chair Graham W. van Schaik announced on the Class of 2012 mailing list that Ring Premiere will still take place on Friday.
Though there has been some vitriol on the dorm mailing lists, the actual impact on campus seems to be slight. Many did not receive the e-mail or did not open it.
Former Class of 2012 president Rishi Dixit said he looked at “a couple” of the pictures, but didn’t want to ruin the surprise for himself on Friday.
“Seeing [the pictures] like that doesn’t ruin the whole premiere, but it does take away from what [RingComm] is trying to do to build up the suspense,” he said.
Dixit said he was disappointed that someone would try to ruin this class tradition. “[RingComm members] go through a lot of trouble to build up the enthusiasm,” he said. “Somebody tried to kill that for some unknown reason.”
Dixit added that few people he talked to on Monday had actually seen the e-mail. “I was talking to 10 sophomores in the [Burton Conner] lounge, and I was one of two or three,” he said.
Emily E. Molina ’12, who lives in New House, said she did not receive the e-mail, and did not hear classmates talking about it on Monday. She plans to attend Ring Premiere — “mostly for the free stuff,” she admitted, “but also to see the design.”
Michaela S. LaVan ’12, who lives in Senior House and is also the class publicity co-chair, said she got the e-mail with the ring pictures, but didn’t read it. She is going to the Ring Premiere. “It seems like a rite of passage that you should go to,” she said.
Van Shaik said that RingComm has received many e-mails from students in the past two days, many of them unhappy that the pictures were sent.
“It’s a pretty regrettable thing that somebody would pretend to be the 2012 Ring Committee and spread misinformation,” he said.
The official revealing of the Class of 2012 ring design will be at the Ring Premiere this Friday at 8 p.m.
The Tech has chosen not to print the full set of ring pictures. We respect that some do not want to see them before Friday. For those who would like to examine the images, we have made them available as “Related Content” under this story on our website.