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A sigh of relief after a long, hectic rush week

By Neil J. Ross

Residence/Orientation Week is over, and the staff in the Office for the Dean for Student Affairs could be forgiven for releasing a sigh of relief. With events ranging from presentations and speeches to social functions, R/O week for freshmen was designed to make newcomers to MIT feel at home, whether their own home is in Massachusetts, another state or abroad.

"We were anxious that the freshmen were comfortable here from the beginning," said Moya Verzhbinsky, the adviser to the R/O committee.

Work for this year's R/O began as far back as January when the 55 strong R/O committee-at-large was recruited, with some representatives coming from the InterFraternity Conference and the Dormitory Council. However, preparations really took off in July and August. Together with student R/O workers there were about 190 student helpers (excluding rush and individual house activities helpers) involved in the planning and execution of the events.

Among the 25 R/O sub-committees was the book committee which handled the freshman book night, and whose work began especially early so that the entering class could be supplied with copies of the appropriate book. In the previous two years in which the book night has been running, the books have been The Machine in the Garden and Beloved. The book night this year focused on the issue of homeless families in America with the book Rachel and her Children by Jonathan Kozol.

The decline in numbers for Parents' Weekend (visible by the shorter lines at the President's reception for parents) has been attributed to the recent introduction of the Family Weekend in October, and administrators are considering restructuring the Parents' Weekend to take account of this.

The freshman class was expected to have 1061 members. A total of 1161 students, including transferring upperclassmen, registered with the R/O clearing house.

"It went very smoothly," said one member of staff at the ODSA. One freshman, Eric Hankwitz '93, concluded "It was a lot of fun and really gave me a sense of home."