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Freshmen To Discuss The Next Century

By Andrea Lamberti

In addition to taking a math diagnostic test during Residence/Orientation Week this year, freshmen will discuss The Next Century, a book by David Halberstam being sent to them this summer, and participate in confidence-building games based on the ropes course offered by the MIT Athletic Department.

this graf changed According to Associate Dean for Student Affairs Travis R. Merritt, one reason the book was chosen was that, "being a consideration of the future in the context of the recent past, this is a book that jibes nicely with the theme of the presidential year, shaping the future," referring to the recent inauguration of the 15th president of MIT, Charles M. Vest.

"The book seems to be readable; the students that we've shown it to have found it engaging even though it deals with history," Merritt added.

R/O Chair Michael C. Pieck '93 said the R/O book committee, composed of the R/O Executive Committee, a student book committee, and members of the Undergraduate Academic Support Office, went through about 15-20 books before deciding on The Next Century, and surveyed students and faculty to help make the final selection.

Pieck described the book as

a "political and economic view

of recent changes in Eastern Europe, Japan and the United States."

The only major changes to

R/O Week are the activities and games that will take place after the president's convocation Thursday afternoon.

These games are based in part a class known as the ropes course offered by the MIT Athletic Department, and will be run in a modified form for R/O, according to R/O Executive Committee member Susan K. Raisty '92, personnel and publications manager for R/O Week.

According to Merritt, these games will not involve the use of ropes, but will be physical activities that will include trust-building, confidence, and team-building exercises. The details of this and other R/O activities are still being worked out.

The games have replaced last year's design project, during which students examined design problems around MIT and proposed solutions.

Merritt said, "We're trying this year to give [R/O] a slightly more utilitarian, practical cast."

Based on an R/O exit poll conducted on Registration Day last year, Merritt said that freshmen favored the activities in which they get "hard, clear information on how to make academic choices, such as subject selection," while students are not "wildly enthusiastic" about some of the innovative, non-residence-selection activities.