Elsewhere Offers Escape from RushBy Eva Moy
"Elsewhere" is more than just 15 years of Play-Doh and Legos.
Elsewhere, located on the fifth floor reading room in the Student Center, has provided freshmen with a relaxed, rush-free zone for 15 years now, said Jo-Anne M. Kokoski '96, a Residence and Orientation Week worker at Elsewhere.
"It's very important, especially for people who, say, are pressured to Rush but do not want to do it," said Sara Howe '94, one of this year's two Elsewhere coordinators.
No Rush paraphernalia, including T-shirts or name tags representing living groups or sororities, is allowed at Elsewhere, Howe said.
"People have been in and out," Kokoski said. "It seems to be pretty popular with [the freshmen]."
Because freshmen are not required to sign in or out, Clearinghouse -- and hence living groups -- will not able to locate them, Howe added.
"I just want to get away from Rush for a little while," said freshman Victor Y. Tsou. "I'm really, really tired, and I haven't gotten a lot of sleep," said Tsou, commenting that Elsewhere is a "nice, quiet place."
"There are a lot of juvenile, regressive things" like puzzles, Kool Aid, and crayons "that I haven't seen in a while,"Tsou added.
"You can talk to freshmen and upperclassmen who are here with unbiased views," Adam W. Meyerson '97 said. Elsewhere also offers an escape from persistent fraternities asking freshmen to go on tours or visit, he added.
Elsewhere also allows students to meet some familiar faces from Project MOYA or other freshmen that they have met so far at MIT, Tsou said.
Staffers trained to help
Elsewhere is staffed 24 hours a day by two trained Elsewhere workers, Howe said. It opened Friday afternoon and will continue until noon next Friday.
Howe explained that workers chosen for Elsewhere are "friendly people who are willing to talk with freshmen." They undergo a mandatory training session to try to prepare them in case of certain situations. For example, a few years ago, a freshman was angry at being flushed came to Elsewhere and "tore up the place," she said.
Overall, it came together pretty well, Howe said.