Numerous MIT alumni, including myself, are rushing to protect Senior House from the recent attacks on the dorm and its community. The Senior House community and set of values were a constant source of joy, belonging, and refuge for me and for so many others, during my years at MIT.
To protect these students from further harm, and to protect other and future students from similar harm, the MIT Corporation should fulfill its fiduciary responsibility to investigate how the Institute’s senior leadership came to compel the waste of thousands of person-hours of precious MIT student time.
Nearly 1,400 alumni, going back to 1958, signed a letter to Barnhart earlier this month expressing their alarm with the administrative actions regarding Senior House.
The MIT Administration has announced its inauguration of an experiment on human subjects called "Pilot 2021." They have not yet published the hypothesis they are attempting to test with this experiment. I offer my own hypothesis in the sincere hope that it will be disproved:
As the presidents of MIT’s three undergraduate LGBTQ organizations, we feel compelled to advocate against the dispersion of one of MIT’s largest LGBTQ communities and the destruction of one of its vibrant queer-affirming spaces that has existed for decades in Senior House.
Last week, Chancellor Barnhart told The Tech that “MIT students” would be housed in Senior House this Fall, but could make no guarantees beyond this vague statement. Below this article on The Tech homepage was a story about the large decline in senior gift donations this academic year, fueled by student frustrations over a lack of transparency and student input in recent student life decisions at the Institute. With the revelation of this newest closed-door decision, it seems clear that MIT has yet to abandon this trend of limited student engagement that may further exacerbate the course of declining donation rates.