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Thistle belittled IFC efforts on sexism, alcohol

The National Panhellenic Conference at MIT consists of three national sororities and over 200 women. At MIT, the NPC sororities are also members of the Interfraternity Council. As members of the IFC, the NPC takes offense to some of the articles in yesterday's Thistle. Contrary to those opinions, the IFC rush is designed to help freshmen find an organization which they will be comfortable with for the remainder of his or her years at MIT. The articles in the September Thistle belittle the efforts that the IFC is making to find the best placement for both the freshmen and the independent living groups.

Other issues which the Thistle brought up are harassment and sexism. MIT makes a large effort to inform freshmen what their options are if confronted with these issues. These efforts include distributing pamphlets in the Residence/Orientation Center, addressing the issues in pre-picnic orientation discussion groups, and addressing them in the skit presented to all freshmen during rush week. It is certainly not an issue taken lightly by either the Institute or the IFC. We strongly oppose the suggestion that women at MIT are helpless bystanders incapable of making intelligent decisions.

The IFC recently adopted a dry rush policy which prohibits all freshmen and transfers from drinking during the rush period. This policy, as well as the standing IFC party policy, is being strictly enforced by the judicial committee of the IFC. We resent the implication that the IFC wants the freshmen to get drunk, because the rush process is one of mutual selection and it is in the best interest of the IFC member groups to have freshmen making informed, rational decisions.

Lastly, the Thistle implies that the IFC is an organization with one purpose -- to glorify itself and publicize its belief in its own superiority. In fact, the members of the IFC pride themselves on community services, Institute relations, and a strong sense of MIT community. The IFC works closely with the Institute during rush as well as throughout the year, and MIT depends on the ILGs to alleviate some of the crowded housing accommodations. IFC members are some of the most involved students on campus -- from R/O coordinator to DormCon President and Undergraduate Association President to class president.

As students at MIT, we do not want to trivialize these issues, however we do not agree with the manner in which they were addressed, nor do we feel that isolated incidents should be used as a characterization of an entire system.

We hope that freshmen and parents will enter rush with an awareness of these issues, but also with an open mind regarding the benefits of the IFC at MIT.

Tony Gerber '90->

IFC President->

Sean Findlay '89->

IFC Rush Chairman->

Kris Newton '91->

Panhellenic President->

Lisa Oliveira '90->

Panhellenic Rush Chairman->