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Some Frosh Hide from Rush

By Deena Disraelly
Staff Reporter

As living groups begin to extend bids, a number of freshmen have found themselves so overwhelmed by the activities of Residence and Orientation Week that they have taken to hiding from living groups.

While some have used the Elsewhere lounge to escape, many freshmen have simply stopped signing into their temporary housing, making it difficult for living groups to contact them.

"Rush is hectic, like New York restaurants or Chinatown," said one freshman who said that he would probably not join a fraternity.

Song-Joon Park '97 and Sung-Jun Woo '97 signed out of a fraternity and went to the Student Center to decide which dormitories to visit. "If we join a fraternity, we have to be friendly with all the brothers," Park said, "but in the dorm, we can choose who we want to be friends with."

Many freshmen chose to wander around the Student Center or visit Elsewhere. "Some people just don't like the atmosphere, the pressure, and the stress. Some people just come to relax for a while," said Edward C. Slottow '96, an Elsewhere staffer.

Break from telephone calls

One freshman said that he went to Elsewhere because fraternity members "have been calling a lot, and I really didn't want to answer today; I'm just taking a break."

"If I walk back to the dorms, I know there are going to be [fraternity] people inviting me in," said Peter K. Lee '97. Lee relaxed in Elsewhere before attending the Boston Tour yesterday.

Adam W. Meyerson '97, who also visited Elsewhere, came to MIT "first because of academics and second because of the activities. I did not come here to find a residence."

Several male freshmen visited Elsewhere on Sunday to get away from rush, Slottow said. Many women came by after Panhellenic Rush was over on Friday night, he added.

Woo said that he would like to live in a dorm because he would have "more privacy. ... In a fraternity, you know people really well, but it's more open than in dorms."

Visiting sorority rush rooms "was more like a chore than something enjoyable. ... I haven't been having fun during rush," said one female freshman.

"I wish I had more time to decide, it weren't so high-pressured. It would be nice to live in a dorm first semester and then pledge a fraternity," Meyerson said.

Some freshmen are `hiding'

Some freshmen have chosen another route, that of hiding from living groups they might be interested in.

"There have been a few cases in which we could not find the freshman we were looking for. In a lot of cases, I think, the freshman would like to spend time alone thinking over the things that have been going on," said John E. Peichert '94, Sigma Phi Epsilon assistant rush chair.

"When somebody goes into a dorm and you don't ever get a call back, it's hard to say if the freshman is hiding from you or if they never got the message. It may be true that freshmen hide from fraternities in the dorms, but there is nothing we can do about it," said Chad E. Trujillo '95, Tau Epsilon Phi rush chair.

"Earlier we had a freshman that we were trying to trace who was signed out to Boston at another fraternity. I doubt he was signed out to Boston; I think they were just trying to hide him," Adam D. Cunningham '94, Phi Kappa Sigma rush chair.

Ben M. Serridge '95, Chi Phi rush chair, attributed the problems in locating freshmen to Clearinghouse. "Freshmen in the dorms are very hard to find because dorms don't check them in or out or care what room they are in. The ones at fraternities we don't have any problem with. Fraternities face IFC fines if they don't keep track of the freshmen and dorms don't," Serridge said.

Some ILGs said they were not having problems locating freshmen. Malia Crawford '96, rush chair at Fenway House, said that although Fenway does trace freshmen, members try not to pressure them and do not have problems finding them.

"This year we've been lucky," said Patrick A. Cazeau '92. "Through Clearinghouse and through our own sources, we've been on top of things, and people have been around."

"We have been pretty successful finding a lot of our freshman," Ling Tong '96, a Nu Delta resident.

Pika Rush Chair Sanjay S. Vakil '94 said, "We haven't had people disappearing that we are trying to find."