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Project MOYA Activities Promote Freshman Teamwork

By A. Arif Husain
Staff Reporter

As Residence and Orientation Week kicked off yesterday, freshmen once again took to Briggs Field for the annual Project Move Off Your Assumptions (MOYA). The activity was designed to promote teamwork and to encourage freshmen to get to know one another.

"I love MOYA," said Nicole A. Larrier '94, a MOYA leader. "We try to help the freshmen breakdown their barriers and feel comfortable, and hopefully inspire some class unity."

The participants seemed to share the positive attitude.

"It worked," James Habyarimana '98 exclaimed. MOYA ended just when freshmen started to get to know each other, and it would have been nice if MOYA had been longer, he said.

"It was a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people," said Charlie Hsu '98.

"It forced you to speak out and not be shy," said Elise Co '98. "I definitely like it."

"You don't normally have time to meet people, and I really liked being able to do so in small groups," said Ania Mierzejewska '98.

The format of the activity was the same as last year, beginning with calisthenics and stretching. These were followed by trust exercises. Members of a group crossed arms to catch one volunteer who would then fall backwards into their hold. Each member was encouraged to volunteer, but still had the option to decline. The exercises were aimed at building confidence among the groups.

The trust exercises were followed by several problem solving situations. Among them was Electric Fence, a simulation in which groups had to cross a rope barrier without touching it, and another called Blind Polygon in which groups had to pull a string loop into a given shape while blindfolded.

Another puzzle required groups to collectively decide how to lift a water bucket using an extended rope, without a spill.

A problem called Traffic Jam was added this year. The object of this game was to move two facing lines of people opposite each other in single increments with certain restrictions. The addition was accepted well, Larrier said.

"There was a good variety of activities, and they all taught lessons," said Chris Martin '98. "Besides that they were a lot of fun and you got to know the people you were working with."

Project MOYA was followed by a gathering attended by President Charles M. Vest and Rebecca Vest, Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Travis R. Merritt, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs Bonnie J. Walters, and Marshall Hughes, a senior staff assistant in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. They led the freshmen class in the MIT song, explaining that "they would be the first class since 1888 to learn the song."

The group finally dispersed to the mob of upperclassmen hosting Thursday Night Dinners.