R/O Heads Pleased with EventsBy Eva Moy
At least as busy as this year's incoming students are the upperclass volunteers who are running Residence and Orientation Week. Heading the committee that planned this year's R/O Week are Chair Crystal K. Reul '94, Personnel and Publicity Manager Ginger J. Hanson '94, and Logistics Manager Raajnish A. Chitaley '95.
"R/O is the only time where we can get the freshmen together, equip them with the information they need, and send them out there with the best chances they have to succeed at MIT," Chitaley said.
In addition to their overall responsibilities, Reul, Hanson, and Chitaley also divided up the different R/O committees.
For example, Hanson worked with Project Move Off Your Assumptions committee, organizing MOYA leader training sessions, which related to her job as personnel manager. Most of the MOYA leaders were "very excited and very good," she said. "They did a very amazing job this year."
Chitaley, meanwhile, was responsible for overall planning, including arranging audio and video equipment, room reservations, budgeting, and expense accounting. He described his job by saying, "There's the means, and then there's the end. I was one of the people whose job was getting the means to the end."
As overall R/O coordinator, Reul is responsible for helping committees to work well with each other. "Everybody wants to help out to make the entire R/O week to work," she said.
Coordinators call R/O a success
The success of R/O so far was "definitely a combination of the people and the organization," Reul said. "It's a function of experience. ... We did have more experience on this committee than the last committee."
"For us the biggest thing was getting the information" to incoming students, such as safety and information about where to live and the academic orientation afterwards, she said.
The coordinators noted the high turnout so far at R/O events. Transfer and international activities were well attended, and Wednesday's Casino Night attracted over 250 students, Chitaley said.
And "we of course wanted the freshmen to have fun," Reul said, adding that by Friday, freshmen were already starting to talk to freshmen and upperclassmen they had met at MOYA.
There were about the same number of R/O activities as last year, with the exception of a few more events for transfer students. It was hectic, but "they'd be bored if it weren't," Reul said.
In the process of training R/O counselors to be good resources for freshmen, the upperclassmen also learned a lot.
"It was amazing to see people grow very quickly from clueless frosh" to knowledgeable upperclassmen, Hanson said.
The coordinators also tried to provide leadership opportunities for workers within their committees so that they can be more experienced for next year, Reul said.
But new people also bring new ideas and a fresh perspective, she said.
"I really enjoy this kind of work, where you get to start off planning and thinking about what to accomplish," Reul said. "You see what you are working for actually happen. ... Every day you go into work it's something new."
The coordinators are also documenting their work from this year, Reul said. Chitaley suggested that next year's coordinators "read our reports, and get started quickly early, because R/O always comes too soon too fast."
Academic orientation upcoming
Since R/O Week extends until next weekend, "every year it becomes more important to emphasize that it's not `dead week,' " Chitaley said. Academic orientation is important because freshmen must figure out what to do this year -- especially with the new biology requirement -- and over the next four years, he said.
Freshmen will attend an academic preview on Tuesday and the full orientation on Wednesday. This includes Meet the Profs and the Academic Convocation.
"We really pushed hard, with the thanks of the provost, to get faculty, staff," and administration to attend Breakfast with the Profs Wednesday, Chitaley said. He added that last year there were not enough faculty attending, and some of them talked among themselves or were late.