In the two years that I have been a Social Director for Ricketts Hovse, I have had more than a few opportunities to explore undergraduate student-administration relationships at Caltech and where they have broken down. I have watched my peers in student leadership be ignored and shut down by members of administration.
The class that plagued me the most during last Fall term was Ch 21a, Physical Chemistry, which is an introduction to Quantum Mechanics for chemistry-related majors. My freshman and sophomore years were honestly pretty rough, but these were all supposed to build my skills as a science student here. As a Junior, I was hoping to excel in courses directly related to my major.
Each undergraduate house has a unique culture. Pretty much every Caltech student ever would agree. Parts of what makes house cultures unique, since they are so intertwined with their physical spaces, are the murals in each house.
On November 30, 2023, Caltech grad students and postdocs filed union authorization cards with the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB). Earlier that day, around 100 grads and postdocs joined together to deliver a letter to Provost Tirrell, signed by over 500 grads and postdocs, requesting a fair union election process and that the Institute remain neutral rather than engaging in anti-union tactics.
In true Caltech fashion, the content for this article came about over midnight coffee at Red Door Café. I was sitting with a group of friends when the topic shifted to freedom of speech on campus. The atmosphere grew heavy and quiet. We were all afraid of saying the “wrong” thing. Finally, I broke the tension.
The laundry machines in all Caltech Undergraduate Housing have recently switched from an ID card-operated payment system to a smartphone app-based system. Previously, users of laundry machines could swipe their student card and the bill was charged to their bursar account. Bechtel Residence and Avery House have had this new system for a few years, but the decision was recently made to retrofit the existing North and South House washing machines with the WASH-Connect control panels.
The most fundamental tenet of a Caltech undergraduate education is training students to collaborate effectively in order to solve the most difficult problems in science and math today. And yet, the sanctity of every common lounge space in every undergraduate house, the home of collaboration, is at risk due to a recent renovation effort by the Housing Office.
On Friday, September 29, 2023, the Caltech Graduate Students and Postdocs United (C/GPU) hosted a rally to celebrate reaching a majority of signed union authorization cards. For those unfamiliar or just confused about the process, this was not a vote. Those in charge of the union effort made it clear that according to their recorded numbers, enough graduate students and postdocs currently support moving forward to a vote to force the issue. These same leaders have also been very vocal about the fact that a vote would not have needed to be forced if the administration had simply consented early on to let us hold one.
Over this summer, the blazing-pink cinematic nuclear warhead that is Barbenheimer – the sobriquet of the dual releases of Barbie and Oppenheimer – hit theaters worldwide.
[TW: Eating disorders, starvation] For me, it was a comment from my dad that planted the seed. My friends watered it. Social media gave it light. I nurtured it myself at times, until it broke through the one thing I swore I would protect: my curiosity, my joy, my desire to learn.
The firing of the Fleming Cannon is a tradition that is supposed to bring pride and joy to the hearts of students every year and mark the progression of time from the end of rotation to the end of every term. However, for many students, the sound of the Fleming Cannon carries a heavy burden, evoking memories of a past they had hoped to leave behind when they came to Caltech.
On January 21, the Caltech graduate student body received an email entitled “Campus Poll to Protect Wildlife”. The email, for those unfamiliar, provided a link to a poll where students could report concentrations of Fox squirrels on campus so that “yield to wildlife” road signs could be put up in strategic squirrel locations.
The Caltech experience for women and non-binary folks is undeniably influenced by the fact that the majority of people at this school are men. Only in the past few decades has the undergraduate gender ratio at Caltech approached some semblance of balance. Enrollment statistics for Fall 2022 show that 55% of undergraduates are male. Not too shabby for an all-STEM institution.
As a Caltech student, I do tend to eat at least some of my meals on-campus. And, like any other living person, I have likes and dislikes. Being the chair of the Food Committee, I feel the urge to give some shout-outs to the best food on campus served recently, so I thought I’d write an article for the Tech doing so.
I spent my first night at Caltech deciphering runes.
This issue contains a review of several so called “tasty” food options on campus. While I cannot speak to most of them as my pallet tends towards the cautious and new things frighten and scare me, one item mentioned made me extremely opinionated.
It’s a beautiful day outside… the birds are singing, flowers are blooming… and it’s cloudy??? That’s right people, it’s cloudy here in beautiful Southern California. Where is the “almost 365 days of sunshine” I was promised by the Admissions Office in my acceptance letter a year ago?
I got paid!!! Parting thoughts from the previous Tech Editor.
Reflections of Study Abroad student Lulu Kwan.
Caltech’s meal plan is mandatory for all students living on campus and the default plan will cost $8,259 next year. Joe Kim takes on why this should not and does not need to be the case.
Where do you go when you’re hungry and it’s 2 am on a Friday? Well, if you ask me, it’s Arturo’s taco truck.
Well folks, let me tell you something just awful and terrible that the stupid FRICKS at Ricketts Hovse have been hiding. Gerard Decker (’26, Ricketts), a fantastic guy, a really great guy, was robbed, yes robbed, of becoming the Unilateral Excomm of Ricketts Hovse.