An Alternative Housing Plan

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 'Tute

by Till Eulenspiegel

In recent weeks there has been a large amount of controversy about a a plan being looked into by the Strategic Housing Committee to move all the undergraduates westward. This would apparently lead to a more cohesive student body and a centralization of student services. While these are all fine and well, this plan would also require a large amount of money, effort, and alienate a lot of students forced to move for rather vague goals. To say the very least, it leaves a lot to be desired.

So I propose another solution. This plan would present many of the same benefits that the current relocation plan has with some additional improvements and without the problems of displacing large amounts of the student body. I propose that the Institute detonate a small neutron bomb somewhere on west campus. Note that the plan would work just as well on the east side of campus, but the west campus location was picked because President Vest is rather uncomfortable with the thought of a neutron bomb detonating in his backyard. This plan would provide the Institute with incredible benefits in several areas for little expense.

Student Life

Student life 1 would be greatly improved by this proposal. Although the initial carnage would be atrocious, it would bring a large sense of cohesiveness among the remaining student body, as they would be the only survivors. A neutron bomb would also not damage the physical structure of the west campus dormitories. This means they could easily be converted into enough graduate housing or academic space to meet the needs of the institute many years into the future.

Also, by having all the remaining student body in one area, MIT could concentrate some of its student services in that area. In addition, with as much as half the student body dead, there would be much less strain on student resources in the future. This would produce such tangible benefits as smaller lines in the cafeterias and better food service. The Institute could even finally get rid of ARA. Although the EMPs of the neutron bomb explosion would disrupt network service for a while, Athena 2 would also improve afterwards. With fewer students, there would be less crowding in the clusters and no more overloading of some services such as zephyr and news.

Research Benefits

The neutron bomb idea is better than the forced relocation plan in that it will boost research at the Institute in future years. The design and implementation of the neutron bomb would make a wonderful thesis topic for a few lucky course 22 majors. An experimental controlled nuclear blast of this sort would be sure to bring in large amounts of DARPA funding to the Institute again, thus helping the UROP office and other departments that have fallen on financial hard times lately. There is also the possibility that we could use the resources of Draper and Lincoln Labs, affiliated with MIT, on this project.

A project of this magnitude would also prominently display to the world once again that MIT students are real engineers who can tackle any problem. It would also boost student pride in their school as a world power. Having nuclear strike capabilities would also be a useful tool to conquer Hahvahd and force them to pay tribute to MIT before we convert their campus into graduate student housing. It would also provide us more leverage for the Institute and more effective lobbying in Congress and other government offices when funding issues are discussed.

A Bold New Vision

Admittedly, the plan still has some difficulties and unresolved issues. For instance, the final location and blast radius of the neutron bomb still need to be discussed. 3 Also, there is always the annoying questions of legality and liability insurance. However, the committee doesn't have to deal with any of those problems anyway; we can worry about these problems of implementation after the decision to go forward with this plan comes.

So there you have it. An alternative proposal that combines all the features of the westward relocation plan 4 and adds new benefits sure to help MIT well into the next century all at a cheaper cost. I think it has real potential, and I hope the Strategic Housing Committee selects it.


1 - What's left of it at least.

2 - I will admit to the slight fear that a nuclear blast on campus might trigger some ancient defense code in Athena causing MIT to launch a nuclear strike against Russia and start World War III. Hopefully, the administration can work with I/S and avert this.

3 - To put it more bluntly, how do we kill the maximum number of students without affecting other west campus buildings like the Student Center and the Chapel?

4 - Buzzwords, vagueness, centralization, and a total lack of regard for its victims.