Wes alums Jared Keller ’09 and Phil Ross ’12 are tweeting live as the story develops.
Police scene at MIT, via MSNBC.
We usually stick to Wesleyan-centric news, but it’s hard not to be alternately captivated and terrified by the news coming out of the Boston region right now, in Watertown, on MIT’s campus, and within miles of Tufts. Several hours ago, MIT posted an alert about an active shooter on campus and later reported that a campus police officer was shot and killed. Meanwhile, in nearby Watertown, there have been “reports of violence and an extremely heavy police presence,” according to NBC. Witnesses have been reporting gunfire, loud booms, and a police chase. You can listen to the Boston Police Scanner here, though it remains entirely unclear if the situation in Watertown is related to the shooting at MIT or, as some have speculated, the Boston Marathon bombings:
The situation seems to have culminated in a massive police standoff. As the Times reports:
From Kumbi Kuti ’16:
Science is an incredibly powerful tool … can it make religious explanations obsolete? Is the Bible inconsistent with science? Are science and faith at war? Ian Hutchinson, professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, will be sharing his perspective at The Veritas Forum at Wesleyan University.
We are anticipating a full house for Ian Hutchinson’s presentation! The event is open to the public, but student ID holders will be given priority seating so that Wesleyan students have the first opportunity to see Ian Hutchinson.
Date: Today, Feb 21
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Place: Exley 150 (Tishler Hall)
NPR has a story this week on how the financial cancer attacking many elite private colleges—that is, more money coming out than in—is affecting schools like Grinnell College, MIT, and, of course, Wes. The focus is on recent struggles over need-blind admissions. Grinnell seems to be an unusual case; despite not being in the same admissions tier as Wes (with an acceptance rate of 43%), it has enjoyed a rosy financial situation thanks in no small part to Warren Buffett sitting on its board. This has allowed it to pay 60% of its students’ costs, which is a higher rate than any other school except Harvard.
Even Grinnell, however, is showing the first signs of trouble, and says it has reached the point where it has had to switch some of its grants to loans.
“We don’t get in a room and say, ‘OK, do we give more aid here or do we give a raise to a professor over here?’ It’s never that stark, but behind the curtain, what’s happening is this tradeoff,” says Kington.
The towering monolith of MIT, meanwhile, told NPR it would never ever ever in a million years end need-blind admissions. “That’s one of our rock-solid principles. It’s sort of built into our DNA,” said MIT Chancellor Eric Grimson. Hopefully we will not have to see the unsustainable financial models and practices of these elite universities bring them, in 10 or 20 years, to the point Wesleyan is at now. NPR says the end of need-blind policies has sustained “some backlash” here—a big understatement.
In essence, MIT juniors got money from their residential dorm to hire strippers:
Authored primarily by Simmons residents Bronk and J. Matt Long ’08, the recreation proposal contains sexual puns that include the name of the fund “SEX-C Fund,” which stands for “Simmons Entertainment Xecutive Committee” and the chairperson of this committee, Matthew J. Caballero ’08 title of “Head.” Also, there are “one to three supporting SHAFT members,” with SHAFT standing for “Supporting-Head-Assistants-For-Transactions.” Caballero appoints the SHAFT members, Bronk said.
From Inside Higher Ed:
But there is apparently nothing in place at MIT to stop such a stunt from becoming reality. Ellen M. Essigmann, who shares housemaster duties with John, said that to her knowledge, there is no rule or regulation barring the use of house funds to hire strippers.
“At MIT, we have what’s called home rule within the dormitories. Obviously, all of the dormitories have to comply with state, federal, local and MIT rules and regulations, but with regards to use of the student funds, these are funds that belong to the students; that is up to them to decide how to use them,” said Ellen Essigmann.
John Essigmann said the funds for the stripping event, suggested as a finals activity, have not yet been tapped. He added that there has not been much on-campus discussion of the plan. “Two other residence halls hire strippers on a more or less regular basis.”