A dry rush will deceive freshman
Guest Column/Keith L. Daly and Michael J. Kardos
"Let the Rush begin!"
Our hearts skipped a beat. Red carpets rolled out from every direction. We were two of 1000 bewildered freshmen who had been advised to "just have fun, be yourself and call your mother." At that time we had no idea what impact the next three days would have on the rest of our lives.
Rush Week is for the freshmen. Within predetermined guidelines, living groups use every possible scheme to figure out which freshmen will best complement them. For years, MIT has been able to say with few exceptions: "No matter where you end up, you'll be happy." If Rush goes dry, this may no longer be true.
In an article of the Friday, April 26, issue of The Tech, Dean for Student Affairs Robert A. Sherwood made a good point: "We need to do what is best for the freshman." But his solution is inadequate. He believes that, "by enforcing a policy that would not make alcohol so readily available, we can alleviate the concerns of parents, reduce the chance of becoming involved in liability suits, and most importantly, protect the safety of our students."
But these are false hopes. This policy would satisfy the concerns of the administration for only a short time. After Rush is over, will the freshmen still be happy when he or she finds out what the living group is really like? Is what we've done been best for the freshmen?
Whenever a decision about Rush is made, the freshmen should be most highly considered. Most freshmen arrive with certain preconceptions about college, especially its social life. Alcohol has a big effect on how people socialize, and certain living groups drink more than others. The freshmen have a right to know what they are getting into. We cannot deceive them by having a dry Rush.
Dean Sherwood said, "Having successfully drunk freshmen during Rush Week does not facilitate choosing a living group." He would imply that the object of a wet Rush is to get the freshmen "successfully drunk."
This is not true. The living group's object is to present an accurate picture of themselves and to provide a relaxed atmosphere in which they can get acquainted with the freshmen. It would be counterproductive for anyone, freshmen of otherwise, to get so drunk that he or she could not communicate intelligently. Furthermore, throughout Rush's history, living groups and freshmen have been extremely responsible about the use of alcohol.
Traditionally, Rush at MIT has been very successful. We do in three days what takes other schools six months. Eliminating alcohol would change the face of Rush substantially. As the system stands, it works and works well.
Rush is for the freshmen. For them it is confusing enough. Deceiving them about alcohol on campus would be a gross injustice.