R/O Week Is Hectic for CoordinatorsBy Eva Moy
Associate News Editor
Residence/Orientation Week can be a fast-paced, hectic time, both for incoming students and for upperclassmen. But behind the scenes, much planning and organization is responsible for the success of an event of such magnitude. Meet two of the three students who helped make this rush happen.
R/O Chairperson Nathaniel R. Bogan '93 was responsible for overseeing everything that went on during R/O. Although he was directly involved with few specific committees, he said he was sometimes surprised to find himself "working 14-hour days."
As the rush chair for Theta Chi last year, Bogan said he felt rush was working in opposition to academic orientation because one overlaps into the next. The coordinators were "working this year to try to coordinate everything" -- rush, Project MOYA (Move Off Your Assumptions), and academic orientation, Bogan said.
Crystal K. Reul '94 was the Personnel and Publicity Manager in charge of finding volunteers, including MOYA leaders, R/O counselors, R/O committee members, and R/O workers. With over 300 volunteers needed for MOYA and R/O, it was "really quite difficult," Reul said. "I learned so much this summer," she added. "At least 20 percent of volunteers drop out."
Reul applied for the position because it "looked like something I could handle and enjoy," she said. With immediate results, "it's so neat to see your event to go well."
"You definitely have an effect on the freshman class," she added. "You hope that you're having a positive influence on them."
The overall goal is "getting as much information out to freshmen as possible, in all aspects," Bogan said. "The more the freshmen know, the better choices they'd make, and the better off they'd be at MIT."
It is important for freshmen to know each other and to make friends during rush, Reul said. It is also "important for freshmen to know that upperclassmen are there to help them, and that staff are there to help them," she added.
Organizers react to R/O
The president's convocation had started behind schedule. Thus, Project MOYA was delayed, and the lap sit, which was scheduled after MOYA activities, was executed practically in the dark. People could "barely see the other side of the circle, [creating] a surreal effect," Bogan said.
"Doing the lap sit in the dark was just no fun," Reul said.
"But it was something very few of them will forget," Bogan added.
Reul said she thought MOYA was almost perfect. Most of the freshmen, leaders, and assistant leaders seemed to have fun, she added.
"Everything I saw looked really good," said Bogan. This carried over into the R/O counseling sessions the next day, where the "R/O counselors outdid themselves," he added.
The Killian Kick-Off, previously known as the Freshman Picnic, included a professional speaker for the first time in many years, according to Reul.
It was "very, very successful," she said, adding that freshmen had nothing but praise for Dr. Will Keim, the speaker.
One humorous glitch only an hour before the Killian Kick-Off was the arrival of a second ice cream company which thought it was catering the event, Bogan said.
Bogan said he did not expect the freshmen to run across the length of Killian Court for their ice cream at the conclusion of the speech. But he praised this year's setup. "Freshmen could be fed and socialize with upperclassmen without the upperclassmen getting in the way."
In all, a success
Bogan felt the R/O committee was successful in relaying information out to freshmen. They tried to "get people in the spirit of exploring" and to encourage freshmen to ask about the different aspects of the living groups, such as hazing and pledging for fraternities and freshman room sizes of dormitories, he said.
"There's never really enough time during R/O," he added. But it "seems like having all these structured events is what people want."
"Part of the successful R/O was a lot of people working really, really hard," Bogan said, noting that there are about 250 R/O events sponsored by the Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office.
"It's been a really successful year," Reul said. "There are always a couple of little glitches," mostly due to miscommunication, she added. "I wouldn't really change much."
"My beeper has gone off quite a bit," Bogan added.