MIT surveys graduates on goals, plans
MIT students are on average well-off and tolerant, but not so service-oriented, suggests a survey administered to this year’s graduating class. Seven in ten graduating seniors participated in the survey, which is administered by MIT once every two years.
An article on the Graduate Student Council’s divestment resolution in the May 13 issue of The Tech quoted a sentence that GSC representatives had previously struck from the resolution. The sentence: “It is unconscionable to finance our education with investments that materially support a path to catastrophic climate change.”
Prayer expunged from graduation after op-ed
Religious prayer, a part of the commencement invocation in previous years, will no longer be included in the ceremony, according to a message from members of MIT’s Commencement Committee sent to undergraduates in May.
Hockfield compensated $1,721,597 in 2012
MIT’s highest-compensated employee in 2012 was outgoing President Susan J. Hockfield, who received a total compensation of $1,721,597, according to MIT’s most recent tax filings. This is an increase from $1,199,877 in 2011.
J. Meejin Yoon, the newly appointed head of the Department of Architecture, will be the first woman to fill that position when she assumes the post July 1 according to MIT News.
BEIRUT — President Bashar Assad of Syria on Wednesday celebrated his overwhelming victory in a deeply disputed election, asserting his confidence and defiance in the Syrian conflict as supporters savored his success in thwarting the United States.
White House on defensive over prisoner swap
WASHINGTON — The White House argued on Tuesday that the “unique circumstances” presented by the opportunity to return Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl gave President Barack Obama the authority to lawfully bypass a federal statute requiring the Pentagon to notify Congress a month before he transferred the five Taliban detainees necessary to complete the deal.
Germany begins inquiry in US surveillance case
BERLIN — Germany’s federal prosecutor announced Wednesday that he had begun a formal investigation of what he called “unknown” members of U.S. intelligence agencies on suspicion that they had eavesdropped on one of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphones.
Mostly dry weekend for commencement and reunions
As MIT welcomes the families of students and alumni for commencement and class reunions, the Boston “weather machine” is showing its notorious variability. A strong low-pressure system moved through the area yesterday, bringing heavy rain. During commencement this morning, the tail end of this system is pushing through the region. Conditions will be mostly cloudy. Showers are possible, with the weather models predicting about a 20 percent chance of rain. The likelihood of rain diminishes later in the day Friday and into Saturday.
Last May, students living in Bexley Hall were informed that their beloved dorm would be closed and they would have to find new housing. A year later, these students, and the rest of the MIT community, have a great deal on which to reflect.
Godzilla is great eye candy, but not much of a story
Feel free to call Godzilla (2014) — by far and without contention — the best Godzilla movie ever made after the 1950s. The reference to the 1950s should spare you the thorny task of comparing this new work with the first Gojira (1954), and its American remake, Godzilla, King of Monsters! (1956), which are now well-established classics. So, if you are a Godzilla groupie, this is a five-star movie for you.
As if opening a treasure chest to discover a trove of precious stones, the audience oohed and aahed every time the curtains were raised to reveal dancers in glittering costumes, poised in front of sparkling backdrops of enormous gems. Boston Ballet’s 50th season concluded this year with George Balanchine’s Jewels.
Bringing the X-Men back to life
X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the most satisfying fantasy action movies I’ve seen in years. Director Bryan Singer has managed to build upon the storylines of many previous X-Men movies and generally maintain narrative consistency (except where it would limit his artistic freedom) in order to create what many critics consider the best entry so far in the successful X-Men franchise.
Only one year after its inception, Boston Calling is already making a name for itself as a top music festival for rock-lovers all along the East Coast. Fans of all ages, from enthusiastic high schoolers to parents, came together Memorial Day weekend to listen to some of their favorite artists while downing Sam Adams and dancing the night away.
Summer sparks are in the air
After finishing a tour with alt rockers New Politics and playing at a variety of music festivals this spring, Magic Man was ready to jump straight into their first performance at Boston Calling. The synth rock and pop band calls Boston home, having spent part of their college years performing at house parties and local live music venues. Joey, Magic Man’s drummer, even reminisces about visiting MIT for Bexley’s Beast Roast party during his time at Berklee.
Snowden’s revelations: the backstory
Leaking secrets in the public interest requires not only a ready and courageous whistleblower. It also demands an able and courageous deliverer to carry the precious message to the world. This year’s graduation week marks the one-year anniversary of the unveiling of Edward Snowden’s identity and the first wave of explosive NSA disclosures delivered by journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.
Give blood to the tree
You can buy the Sport Death shirt, and the Roast shirt, and even the Lambda Sigma Delta jersey (complete with purity score!). But there is a special rite of passage for those who want to be a true Senior Haus resident. I am speaking, of course, of learning how to tire swing.
Mary Rowe retiring from role as ombudsman
The MIT Ombuds Office, according to its mission statement, “helps people express concerns, resolve disputes, manage conflicts, and learn more productive ways of communicating” and serves as a neutral resource to the MIT community. Last year, MIT’s two ombudsmen received about 800 visitors, who collectively raised 3800 different issues, including academic concerns, interpersonal problems, and requests for referrals. Mary Rowe, one of MIT’s ombudsmen, is retiring from her position this year.