SayNO campaign will have sit-in at Corporation meeting to protest dining

Keone Hon ’11, organizer of the SayNO campaign against the new dining plan has announced a sit-in protest at the MIT Corporation’s quarterly meeting today.

In an e-mail blasted to campus mailing lists around 1:25 a.m., Hon asked students to drop by from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the lobby of the new Media Lab today to show Corporation members their discontent with the new dining plan.

The event will include food and t-shirts, Hon said in the e-mail. He encouraged students to wear red in solidarity.

Those who signed the SayNo petition have said that the dining proposal is too expensive and will disrupt the culture of living groups. They also accuse the administration of ignoring student complaints about the proposal.

In response, the administration released an amended dining proposal on Monday that added a $2,500/year “transition” meal plan — $400 less than the next cheapest option, but only available to the classes of 2012 and 2013.

“We’re offering the transition plan that will allow dorm cultures to stay intact,” senior associate dean of residential life and dining Henry J. Humphreys told The Tech on Monday.

In the same article, Hon responded, “These changes are absolutely not adequate enough. As articulated in the petition, we don’t accept ‘grandfathering’ as an acceptable solution.”

The Tech will be covering the protest, so look for updates on the main website and the blog. The full text of Hon’s e-mail is after the jump.

Hon writes:

SUBJECT: “Sit-in” for MIT Corporation meeting tomorrow + WEAR RED

Hi all,

We are MIT SayNO.  We know there has been a great deal of email and
discussion about dining in the past few weeks, but we urge you to read
on as tomorrow (Friday) marks the most important effort to date.

To restate our concerns, we don’t like the way the dining plan was
decided, or how our input was treated.  We’re also not happy with the
dining plan itself, which is prohibitively expensive for many
students. We’ve voiced our concerns and our input has been ignored so
far.

The MIT Corporation, which governs the Institute, is having its
semesterly meeting today, Friday December 3, in the new Media Lab. In
order to voice our opinions about the dining decisions in a
constructive and peaceful manner, we are having a “sit in” in the
lobby of the new Media Lab today.

Feel free to bring your psets, bring your lunch, bring your study
buddies. There are t-shirts and food! You can come anytime until 5 pm,
and stay for as little or as long as you like.  As the Corporation
will be entering at 8:30 am, your presence early in the morning (at
roughly 8 am) would be especially helpful.

The more support we gather, the harder it is for the administration to
turn a blind eye to our concerns.  We realize that you are probably
hosed right now, but if you can stop by (and bring your work!), your
presence will make a huge difference.

Also, please wear red tomorrow to show support, and tell your friends.

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