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Articles by Ryan Normandin

April 10, 2012
Editor’s Note: Ryan Normandin is the UA Council representative from MacGregor House, formerly UA senator.
March 6, 2012
MITx has stimulated much discussion among MIT students, and seems to have divided them into two camps: the ones who believe that our degree will be devalued by the implementation of MITx and those who do not. In fact, the most likely outcome is that MITx will reap enormous benefits, both on campus and internationally.
February 28, 2012
The UA Senate was popularly perceived as being inefficient, ineffective, and just not doing all that much. This, in fact, provided much of the impetus behind the restructuring that led to the creation of the UA Council. And this is more than just a feeling; the “exit polls” of graduating seniors indeed indicate that many students are dissatisfied with student government at MIT. This logically leads to the question of what exactly is it that the UA should be doing? For as long as I can remember, the UA has lacked a real vision; sure, they want to improve life for undergraduates and advocate on their behalf, but how? What can the Senate point to that it actually accomplished? The answer to that question is “nothing.” The “doing things” part of the UA has always been the committees. The committees on dining, space planning, events, sustainability, and education, to name just a few, have always been the ones who can point to things that they have actually accomplished and tangibly improved undergraduate life through. And this makes sense; the committees all have clear charters and projects that are led by chairs who have a vision for the committee.
February 7, 2012
2011 was a big one for MIT students, particularly in the realm of student government. Depending on who you ask, there was some combination of victories and defeats resulting in the implementation of the long-fought dining plan, the dissolution of the Undergraduate Association (UA) Senate by itself and simultaneous creation of the UA Council, and the appointment of a new Chancellor, Eric Grimson PhD ’80, which gave hope for renewed trust in student-faculty relations.
February 7, 2012
The Tech has covered the extremely high rate of attrition in the Undergraduate Association (UA) previously, with Senators and members of Exec resigning in droves. In fact, this was one factor that drove the UA to restructure itself this past semester, in hopes of preventing such large-scale resignations in the future. It is ironic that the first individual to resign under the newly formed government is the UA President (UAP) himself, who spent the fall working on the solution.
November 29, 2011
Editor’s Note: The UA passed a restructuring bill last night, after the deadline for this column.
November 8, 2011
The Occupy Wall Street movement has been lambasted by Republicans nearly since its inception. This is not entirely unreasonable — interviews with some of the protesters have demonstrated an extensive lack of knowledge regarding what they’re protesting and why they’re protesting it. One college student said that he thought the government should pay for his college tuition simply because he wants them to. Others, even if they are able to clearly enunciate problems, have no ideas about the solution. As such, it has been only too easy for Republicans to trivialize the movement, portraying it as a group of people too lazy to look for work, individuals who simply want everything handed to them, or people who are looking for something to do and figure that Occupy Wall Street — being the latest fad — would be fun.
October 7, 2011
By this point, it is no secret that the Republican field of presidential candidates is not ideal (and that’s being generous). But the flaws of the party have made themselves apparent not only in the candidates, but also in the voters. The positions of the candidates and the disgusting responses of the audience at the Republican debates have put on full display just how far to the right the Tea Party has driven the GOP.
September 6, 2011
In the early 90s, a young man named Lead Wey ’93 arrived on campus at MIT, just like all of us have been these past few days. Like us, he was intelligent, driven, and had an entrepreneurial spirit. Like us, he experienced the rush of success after mastering a particularly difficult class or problem set, along with the humbling knowledge that everyone around you is just as smart as or smarter than yourself. His years at the Institute, which he attended for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees, were both rewarding and, at times, uncomfortable. Both the positive and negative shaped what this man would go on to do.
September 2, 2011
It is our pleasure to bring you the first video in a new series called “The MIT Scoop.” The Scoop is intended to give you a window into what student life at MIT is really like. You’ll be able to follow with your own eyes and ears the daily escapades of MIT students. Ever wonder how many hours of studying a typical student does? Or how freshmens’ expectations match up with upperclassmens’ experiences? Now you can hear it directly from the people who are living it. The videos can be viewed by scanning the QR code to the right or by going to . So quit reading and start watching!
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