Freshmen Flood Johnson for MidwayBy Kevin Subramanya
Approximately 700 freshmen and about 100 upperclassmen were introduced to MIT's 120 student groups and organizations at the Activities Midway held in Johnson Athletic Center Tuesday night.
The midway was sponsored by the Association of Student Activities. "Its main goal was to introduce the new students to student organizations at MIT and to show what these organizations had to offer in terms of campus activities," said Scott D. Centurio '94, ASA secretary and one of the coordinators of the midway.
"Even though this years midway seemed to have slightly fewer people than last year, the freshmen had about 20 more student groups to choose from. There were no problems with any of the groups. in fact, it turned out that just about all of the groups were cooperative. Over all I definitely was impressed with this year's midway," Centurio said.
Most student groups' booths had two to three volunteers promoting their organizations, even though some had as many as eight. Many booths had demonstrations varying from strategic games and movies to magic shows. Almost all of the booths had a sign-up sheet for potential members. Promotions and recruitment efforts included incentives such as fancy buttons, brochures, and free food.
"I think it's worth it," said one freshman. "Most of the student groups have been very helpful and responsive. However, I think it's hectic and overcrowded, but I'm still having a good time," he added.
"It's exciting and a little bit overwhelming too," said Jason Weintraub '97, "Just trying to get around to every both is going to be a lot of work," he said.
"It's a good way to meet people at MIT, after all it's a big place," said Keri Kallelis '97. "It's a little overwhelming at first, but I'm feeling more comfortable now," she added.
Groups react positively
"I think it's cool that the freshmen are feeling relaxed," said Harris Gilliam '91 of the Christian Student Association. "Most people have been both positive and friendly," he said.
Jonathan Baker G of the MIT Libertarians group said, "We are really pleased with the turn out at this years midway. We are also pleased to see that many people show interest in self-government."
In addition to the large variety of student organizations at the midway, the MIT Alumni/ae Association and the Student Alumni/ae Council sponsored a "Phone Home Program" that allowed new students to make a free, one-minute telephone call home, anywhere in the world.
"This program allows us to welcome the new students to MIT," said Emily S. Berkowitz, student activities program manager for the MIT Alumni/ae Association. "And, because it makes the new students feel more comfortable, it is everybody's favorite program in our office," she added.
Approximately 600 new students used the phone home program and about 150 of those placed international calls to places such as Russia, India, China, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Greece.