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GSC Orientation Introduces New Students to MIT, Boston

By Hyun Soo Kim
News Editor

Unlike the glitzy, fast-paced undergraduate orientation, the student-run graduate student orientation began quietly yesterday with an information booth and campus walking tours.

One highlight of the Graduate Student Council Orientation Week is the picnic Thursday at noon, where President Charles M. Vest, Dean of the Graduate School Frank E. Perkins ScD '55, and GSC President Roger G. Kermode G will speak.

"This is the best opportunity to get to know other graduate students before you get entrenched in your lab," said Joe J. Bambenek G, co-chair of the Orientation Committee.

"I like [MIT]. I'm excited about meeting new friends in the activities during the orientation program," said Flavia Sparacino G, a first year graduate student at the Media Laboratory.

Orientation events include information sessions, trips, and tours. Some of these activities will be held after Registration Day.

Several new events have been added this year, Bambenek said. These include a trolley tour; the Puzzle Rally, which is a scavenger hunt around Boston; and GL 001, an introduction to graduate life presenting faculty and students' views.

"We've had an overwhelming demand for tours," Bambenek said.

"I'm really impressed by all the things going on at MIT - all the activities,' said first year graduate student Chris M. Cacioppo.

Cacioppo added that graduate students "are not provided with as much documentation as the freshmen who are handed much information."

Volunteers organize GSC orientation

"The GSC orientation is a totally volunteer-based project," said Yingying Li, administrative assistant to the GSC.

"I am really pleased with all the people who have worked extremely hard to organize this," Kermode said.

Kermode said that the GSC is trying to expand the program by adding more events this year. "We feel like the GSC should be able to unite graduate students and figure out what they want and need," Kermode said.

But administrative support would not be unwelcome. "Compared to undergraduate orientation, we need more support from the administration. Graduate students don't have the time," Li said. Graduate students sometimes have to ask their faculty advisers if they can spare the time away from their work to volunteer, Li said.

"It means a lot of work on our part, but I think it provides us valuable learning experiences and a sense of ownership in the Institute," Bambenek said. "Also, in a time of financial difficulty it seems that this is a good way to do it. As currently done, we provide a quality experience for new students."

All this week, students can pick up information at the GSC booth in Lobby 10. The information includes MBTA schedules and GSC activities schedules. Today's main events are the English Evaluation Test, the MIT Fair, and various seminars such as on-campus safety. Traditionally, the GSC's most popular orientation event is the Boston Harbor Cruise, which will tour Boston Harbor Sunday evening.

One hitch this year was the trip to Fenway Park Sept. 11 to watch the Red Sox play against the Kansas City Royals. The game may not be played because of the strike. "We've purchased tickets for the game already, and if the strike gets resolved and the game is held, we'll sell them," Bambenek said.