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Excessive symbolism in recent Brass Rats?

I was glad to see in the recent article on the 2015 Ring Premiere that MIT students continue to show enthusiasm for the Brass Rat. However, studying the ring design, I see a continuation of a problem seen in recent years: too much of a good thing. My class was the first to introduce the concept of the MIT and Boston skylines depicted on the front and back edges of the ring, so I know how enjoyable it is to have unique features and details on the ring. Unfortunately, recent classes seem to be going overboard by trying to cram too much symbolism into one ring, at the expense of clarity and aesthetics. The Brass Rat should certainly embody some allegories of what makes MIT a unique place, but trying to commemorate national and world events that just happen to coincide with a certain couple of years seems like a stretch. The death of Steve Jobs (2014)? Hurricanes (2015)? And with over two years before graduation, will the ring be re-designed to incorporate news events that happen between now and then?

To future classes, I just suggest you ask your ring committee to ponder what you would like to wear on your finger for the rest of your life: a classy marker of your achievement at MIT, or a hodgepodge metallic trivia quiz?

Tim M. Dawson-Townsend ’90.