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MIT student blogger Snively '11

Ring Committee Wrap Up by Snively '11

For those interested . . .

The class of 2011 all got this e-mail this morning:


Class of 2011,

Congratulations on completing your first year at MIT! It has been a tough year, filled with its ups and downs, and we hope that all of you are enjoying this well-deserved summer break thoroughly.

Towards the end of the school year, the class council announced its decision of a ring committee selected through an application and interview process, and many of you responded, pointing out the lack of east campus representation. The ensuing debate and class-wide discussion about why this happened and how it could be rectified continued for a number of days, and due to finals and other end-of-year items that were on everybody’s mind, this discussion has continued into the summer as well.

Over the past few weeks, class council has been engaged in this discussion with members of the class of 2011, the current Ring Committee, and the MIT administration, and while we maintain that our application and interview process was fair, we have recognized that the committee that resulted from this process did indeed lack East Campus representation, and after much deliberation, we have decided to add a 13th member to the Ring Committee.

This additional member will be selected by interview from the list of EC, Random Hall, Bexley, and Senior House residents that had originally applied for the Ring Committee. The candidates for this position will be notified this week, and their interviews will be held via conference call (phone) starting later this week. We realize that during the summer, some of the candidates may be on vacation and unavailable, but we assure you that this important decision will not be made until every candidate has been interviewed.

If it were possible to do so, we would conduct this interview process in the Fall, when each candidate would be available for in-person interviews. However, the Ring Committee will be having some important discussions this summer, and it is in the current Ring Committee’s and the 13th member’s best interest for the committee to be finalized as soon as possible, so that the new member can be a part of the important decisions that will be made prior to the start of the school year.

Finally, with all that said, all of us on class council would like to thank you for taking so much interest in this process, for reading our many emails, and for responding. Now, it is our hope that the selection process for the 13th member will go smoothly and that the final Ring Committee will be announced in the very near future.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to direct them to 2011council [at] mit [dot] edu. Thanks for your patience, and have a restful and satisfying summer!

Sincerely,
Your 2011 Class Council
Daniel, Anshul, Lulu, Sivakami, Sheena, May, Jeff, Emma

29 responses to “Ring Committee Wrap Up”

  1. Shannon says:

    I guess this is good? I’m not really buying the “oh, after we got together and talked about it, we realized that yes, there were no students from East Campus on the committee” excuse. At least they figured out a reasonable solution.

    I think it goes without saying that our Class Council is going to have to really take a look at how best to choose the RingComm next year, though, because clearly people weren’t happy with it this year.

  2. Isabel says:

    So that was what the deleted entry was about. Now the resulting entry about the flame war makes more sense.

  3. Piper says:

    Well, I’ll be among the applying =D. (Of course, getting back into EC in the middle of the year might be difficult… but I really hope to go back to my dorm =D.)

    As I said in the Facebook group, I agree that the “token east person” wasn’t the best solve – but eh, at least they listened. And I encourage the 2012 Council to get a very diverse group (across dorms, across east/west, across majors, whatever).

  4. Jeremy says:

    13 happens to be my favorite number! Situations like these are always tough. We’ll have to be careful with our class selections, but ‘i think this event will make our process run a little smoother.

  5. “Stereotypical” hypothetical situation:

    EC person: “I think we should have some hacking-related mentions on the ring”
    Everyone else: “cool! yeah!”

    Chris, do you think Baker kids are complete idiots? I have faith in this RingComm. You should, too.

  6. Karen says:

    So, Mr. Snively, what’s your opinion on the matter?

  7. Karen says:

    So, Mr. Snively, what’s your opinion on the matter?

  8. Tamara says:

    @ current ’11

    I’d say it’s your comment that gets us nowhere, but whatever you say…

  9. current '11 says:

    my more generalized point is that the world does not need to know about the Class of 2011’s internal troubles with RingComm selection.

    Snively’s not even doing any whistleblowing. He’s just reposting emails sent to the class of 2011 as if he’s going and telling it on the mountain.

    DISCLAIMER: I do attend MIT and am a member of the class of 2011. I do not question my choice to attend MIT and in fact look forward to returning to campus in the Fall. My only qualms are with the Admissions blogs consistently failing to address real issues and just wooing prospective freshmen with trivialities.

  10. current '11 says:

    That’s not to say that I don’t like the concept of an admissions blog. I think it’s a great idea. I just think it needs to be a bit more realistic. Derrick B’s posts are great for this reason. He tells like it is. Paul B does the same thing. Snively and Barkowitz on the other hand…

  11. current '11 says:

    by the way, what makes you think you’ll like EC until you live there? CPW != MIT

  12. Li'12 says:

    I told an alum about this whole deal and he said it wasn’t any big surprise. He said it happened before (I couldn’t tell if you meant once, or several times before.) If that’s the truth, I don’t understand why it took so long for them to make a resolution.

  13. Tamara says:

    As a prefrosh, I see nothing wrong with Snively’s posts. Someone posted the same thing in the MIT ’12 facebook group, and people are discussing it there too. I think that this is an issue that interests us, even though we aren’t in the class, so there’s nothing wrong with Snively posting about how it turned out. If nothing else, it shows that things aren’t perfect at MIT, but that students get involved and have the power to change what the don’t like. Not a bad thing to let prefrosh / perspective students know.

  14. Li'12 says:

    Ahh, typo:
    I meant: “if *he* meant once”
    I should really reread this stuff before posting

  15. madmatt says:

    Please, this is not the place for personal attacks. Some comments have been removed for attacking people rather than ideas. Having to police personal attacks makes my night of catching up on BSG on Tivo less pleasant. Keep it civil, thanks!

  16. Piper says:

    @Current ’11 – Are you referring to me? I was an ’11 who had to leave in the middle of spring term for medical reasons, and will be returning next spring (taking a gap year of sorts). So I’ve been through rush and experienced EC for almost two terms – I’m fairly certain I like it =D.

    (Just as a note for those who may be wondering – I don’t sign my year because to say ’11 would now be wrong, but to say ’12 would imply that I haven’t been an MIT student.)

  17. current '11 says:

    no, I was talking about tamara. prefrosh tend to be delusional. I thought I liked my dorm 100%, but then I found out that there was plenty wrong with it.

  18. Tamara says:

    Oh, I understand that completely. Also, nowhere did I say I even wanted to live in EC. For the record, I did put EC first (I visited MIT, not during CPW, stayed there and liked it), but it very well may change.

  19. Piper says:

    @Current ’11 – My mistake. Also, if I may ask..?

    “Admissions blogs consistently failing to address real issues”

    What issues do you think the blogs should be addressing?

  20. Oasis '11 says:

    @ Random troll (who declined to provide his/her name):

    There’s a lot more to east campus culture than just hacks. The whole campus would agree to put some kind of hack mention on the ring regardless of whether there’s an EC person on the committee or not, since that’s an integral part of MIT culture. I would like to think that they added an extra person from the East on ringcomm to serve a purpose greater than to advertise hacks.

    And by no means have I ever said Baker residents are idiots. I don’t know where you got that from. I am just commenting on the disparity that this new solution still fails to alleviate.

    And it’s not that i have no faith in this RingComm. I still plan on purchasing the ring – but do we need to support this RingComm to a point that we get attacked every time we mention something negative about it?

  21. Oasis '11 says:

    IMO, this is what I consider to be the “nothing much would change” solution.

    So great, we added one extra East person, but he/she’s still outnumbered 12 to 1, and either way, unless the East person is extremely outspoken in committee, how would it affect anything? It’s basically like stuffing a piece of candy in a baby’s mouth to stop it from crying.

    I still vote for a complete re-shuffle of the RingComm, but for obvious reasons, this solution is impossible in reality. Oh well, politics…

  22. @ Anon.troll: less than ten percent of the applicants were from east campus according to class council. although this is no way gives them any excuse for not choosing an ec rep, i wouldn’t exactly say this is “a bunch of east campus people did apply”

    @ Jeremy: yay 13. but seriously, you all realize that such a large ringcomm will make it even harder for the 2011 ringcomm to make decisions right?

    @ Chris: exactly. do people actually think having one more person is really going to change the ring? the 2011 ringcomm members would be morons, especially after this class council-induced debacle, to do something as stupid as ignoring ec or overrepresenting west campus or whatever the 11s thought was going to happen – it would have been just fine without another member. but a greater purpose than to advertise hacks? wishful thinking. even advertising hacks isn’t even that necessary, you’re right about hacks being a part of the greater mit culture. class council is obviously trying to restore whatever legitimacy it had by appeasing east campus. plus, it’s not like this ringcomm is going to put anything west-specific on the ring (hopefully) – why should they put anything east-specific? the most i see another person doing is maybe throwing a couple of ideas into the enormous pot of them from which ringcomm will no doubt have to select.

    and yeah, it does fail to alleviate any problem, besides quelling east campus i guess. although the discussion was already dying down a lot…now it’s just been stirred up again. thanks to class council for trying though…at least they’re listening. it’s a little late for complete re-shuffling too – and you know how some people complain about how unfair all this stuff was? yeah…i’m sure everyone would agree that kicking off someone already on ringcomm would be completely unfair.

    btw…you haven’t written a blog in ages!! okay more like 2 weeks. still distressing =( people miss that stuff man

  23. umm by “this is” i meant “that” above. and while i’m at it…i guess i’ll mention to the 12s that if you’re going to give ec applications another look to make sure you maintain diversity, you might also do the same for course 6 applicants. or not even course 6, just people who can build a website, because while i’m sure anyone smart enough to get to mit is smart enough to learn how to do it, it would just be so much easier and more efficient when somebody already has experience

  24. Tamara says:

    Good call on their part. Now, class of ’12, make sure that a bunch of east campus people apply, and hopefully this wont happen again.

  25. Anon. Troll says:

    @ Tamara: A bunch of East Campus people DID apply for RingComm and weren’t selected this year.

  26. Tamara says:

    Yeah, I know. At first I typed make sure east campus people apply SO this wont happen again, but I changed it. I get that people applied, but it can’t hurt for more people to apply, right?

  27. ray '10 says:

    i think the council caved, admitting to a mistake that i don’t think they sincerely believe was made

    to those who are/were bitter: what have you done about the situation other than further dividing the MIT community? did you contact the council with a level head? or just in outrage? are you ready to tackle the situation respectfully and make your thoughts known peaceful discourse? or complain whenever given the opportunity and not stop until someone else steps in and “fixes it”?

    ringcomm our year made themselves available for input throughout the year. not much input was given by the MIT community. i personally definitely would’ve appreciated more input.

    the ring in my mind shouldn’t have subdivisions to appease each subculture at MIT. it as a whole should commemorate the events of the past year that affected the campus at large. unfortunately, with or without EC representation, that’s essentially an impossible task

    the chosen ringcomm members aren’t stupid or arrogant. i’m sure they’ll listen if approached, as we were ready to do our year

    also, if you have the magic formula for creating a ring that stands out from decades worth of rings, still stays true to mit tradition, and manages to not anger anyone, feel free to share

    adding a 13th member isn’t going to make that job any easier or make the final result any less ‘unacceptable’ to certain groups

    (this comment reflects my own opinions only, and not that of the ringcomm of this year or years’ past)

  28. Anon '10 says:

    2010 Brass Rat kicks ass. I wear mine everyday.