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Letters to the editor

Bike parking situation out of hand

As a daily bike commuter to campus, I’m finding the lack of bicycle parking to be increasingly frustrating with each passing day. After parking my bike in the back of 26-100 today due to lack of any available space, I decided to write in to The Tech. Instead of requesting more space, though, I’d like to suggest some courtesies that other bicycle commuters, as well as the campus police, can do to improve the situation for everyone.

Bicycle commuters: Please follow just a few simple rules!

1. Do not take up more than one parking space!

2. If you’re parking your bike for more than 24 hours, please use more remote parking options, such as the bicycle parking available in dormitory basements or the Stata basement; there’s an elevator on the south side of Stata that fits a bike and brings you right to that parking. Don’t take up valuable space at the entrance to buildings that daily commuters really need.

3. Finally, if possible, bring your bike up to your office or lab. Undergraduates do not typically have this luxury, so if you lucky grad students or employees have some space upstairs, please use it!

4. If you have a bike that’s been sitting outside for more than three or four days, please go move it somewhere else. Right now. Take it home, find a better place for it ­­— those of us who actively bike really need to use your spaces.

Campus police: Ask any bike commuter and they can point out to you the dozens of bikes that have languished on racks for one, two, eight weeks. They are there every day and we know it. Please be more proactive with tagging bicycles and removing them promptly. I suggest going around after 10 p.m. to tag bikes, as most commuters have left for the day by then.

Bike parking on campus is a limited resource. We could always use more, yes, but we can also use what we have more courteously and wisely.

—Sarina Canelake ’11

Beaver fever

I love the whole new attitude of the football team — it’s a tough sport that should be taken seriously if you’re going to compete at the NCAA level. MIT has many successful sports teams, and why shouldn’t football be included? Maybe not this season, but over the next few seasons as more recruits come in from established programs, I guarantee that MIT football will be competing for their conference championship!

There are excellent football players around the country (who can also handle the demanding academics at MIT) — kudos to Coach Martinovich for trying to bring those types of players here. The class of 2014 is a clear case in point. Freshmen like #64 Derek Vaughn, #12 John Wenzel, and #13 Mathew Peterson are already making their presence felt. Individual battles on the field and ultimately the games themselves are won in the weight room. Its starts there, and it’s great the coaching staff is emphasizing it. I love this team and will attend every game home or away. And as we improve, so hopefully will the student body’s support for the team. Let’s Go Engineers! I think everyone should get high on Beaver Fever!

—Joel Santisteban ’14

Not an arts takeover

In a news article in the Sept. 3 edition, you highlighted our exciting plans to enhance student arts programs at MIT. It was wonderful to receive front-page attention in support of our efforts to bring this news to the community. Unfortunately, several key points were either lost or mangled during your deadline editorial process. I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight for the sake of clarity and to advance student understanding about what we offer and how we operate.

First of all, I must humbly admit, as the coordinator of the Student Art Association, that we are not launching a partial takeover of the Office of the Arts, as suggested in your headline, “Art programs get moved around in reorganization: To make arts at MIT more “coherent,” SAA will take over some programs from the Office of the Arts.” In fact, the reality is simpler to follow. The Office of the Arts is an umbrella organization, consider it a kind of mothership, and it is orbited by several entities, such as the SAA, that report to it. Other such entities include the Council for the Arts (CAMIT) and Student Arts Programs. This entire system is overseen by Leila Kinney, Director of Arts Initiatives at MIT

Some of the dynamic changes we are pleased to share with the community involve groups that fall under the auspices of Student Arts Programs. The Arts Scholars Program, Grad Arts Forum, Art Reps, and MIT Mural Competition will continue to be offered by the Office of the Arts. However, and here is the possible trigger of our translation difficulties, I will be running these programs this year and dividing my time between these responsibilities and my role at the SAA. These programs have not moved, I have simply been charged with broadening and strengthening them.

FAST, the Festival of Art, Science and Technology that is part of MIT’s 150th anniversary, will include a range of projects from students, faculty and outside groups The competition will be open to all students, not only to those in Professor Tod Machover’s class.

Again, thank you for the attention given to the new energy around the arts, and for the opportunity to clarify several significant errors.

—Sam Magee
Coordinator of Student Arts Programs