The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 49.0°F | Fair

Place Where Rush Isn't Offers Escape from Pace and Pressure

By Ifung Lu
Associate News Editor

As rush festivities continue through the weekend, some students feel overwhelmed by its fast pace. Elsewhere Lounge, located in the International Reading Room on the fifth floor of the Student Center, opened Friday to provide freshmen with a relaxed, rush-free area to get away from it all.

Described in the Hitchhiker's Guide to R/O '94 as "the place where rush isn't," Elsewhere offers students the opportunity to socialize and play with crayons, games, Play-Doh, and puzzles without any of the worries of fraternity, Panhellenic, or dormitory rush. There is no Clearinghouse sign-in, so no independent living group can reach students at Elsewhere.

"It's a place to go if they're feeling homesick, or something like that," said Elsewhere Counselor Lisa M. Sopata '96.

Elsewhere is staffed by counselors who have completed training sessions and are ready to help people feel more comfortable, Sopata said.

Frosh escape from rush

With all the hubbub and confusion during rush, freshmen say that it is easy to get tired and frustrated.

"Rush is kind of hectic. It got kind of tiring because they're always trying to get you to go places and do things," said Jim Kiger '98.

"I went to a few fraternities [Friday night], and none were that interesting," said Maciej Stachowiak '98.

Nicky Leifer '98, felt that the Women's Convocation was degrading.

"I felt like cattle being herded. They're so nice to you, and they won't leave you alone. It's really fake," Leifer said.

Susan Boru '98, just was not interested in what many places had to offer.

"There weren't any events that I thought were interesting. There's nothing to do in my room," Boru said.

Whatever the reason, students eventually make their way to Elsewhere. Kiger and Stachowiak were checking their Athena accounts when they discovered Elsewhere. Boru stumbled onto the Lounge while searching for a bathroom.

Once in Elsewhere, the relaxed atmosphere helps students feel comfortable. Students can have fun socializing with other people while playing games or working on puzzles.

"[The games] are fun. I like the people here," said Kiger.

"I haven't done [all the activities] but it's great that everything's here," Boru said.

"It was the most fun I had during rush, besides MOYA [Move Off Your Assumptions]," Leifer said.

Students and counselors agree that having a place like Elsewhere is beneficial to students.

Sopata said, "I think it's a really good way for them to relax. They come, and they look a little confused. I think they look a little more relaxed when they leave."

"Regardless of whether you're going to rush or not, it's good to have a place away from rush," Stachowiak said.