The Star Simpson Affair
On the morning of 21 September 2007, Star Simpson was arrested at Boston's Logan Airport. Before Ms.
Simpson, '10, was able to return to MIT to seek help following her release, MIT issued the
following press statement:
The ManningWinston Resolution
Shortly before 17 October 2007, Professor Kenneth R Manning and I, noting a congruence of our
reaction and that of many colleagues, determined to introduce the following resolution at
the MIT Faculty Meeting of 17 October 2007:
Speeches and commentary
During the Faculty Meeting of 17 October 2007, I delivered a speech in support of the
Manning-Winston resolution in which I expressed
concern about the trend in MIT's community values toward a more corporate and legalistic atmosphere. The
resolution was tabled to allow further discussion.
President Hockfield's expresses regret
At the 21 May 2008 faculty meeting, President Hockfield said that Star had been on her mind throughout the year, that she regreted MIT's reaction to Star's arrest, that the reaction was too hasty, and that the words in the press statement were poorly choosen. Believing that great leaders acknowledge mistakes, I and many others had a very positive reaction to President Hockfields remarks, which were delivered with persuasive sincerity.
Ms. Simpson expresses regret; charges dismissed
On 2 June 2008, the hoax device charge against Ms. Simpson was dismissed. A disorderly conduct charge will be dismissed a year later providing that Ms. Simpson perform 50 hours of community service, not be arrested, and express regret, which she did, via the following statement released by her lawyers:
``I want to apologize for the results of my conduct on September 21, 2007. Although I never intended to act in a disorderly fashion, I now realize that the shirt I created caused alarm and concern at Logan Airport. I am appreciative to the Massachusetts State Police for their diligence in protecting our citizens and apologize for the expense that was caused that day.''