The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 39.0°F | Mostly Cloudy

Heads of R/O Committee Meet Goals Despite Limited Budget

By Hyun Soo Kim
News Editor

Since April, members of the Residence and Orientation Week Committee have worked many hours to organize R/O Week for this year's freshmen. Heading the committee are R/O Chair Jahnavi Swamy '95, Personnel and Publicity Manager Ophira J. Segal '96, and Logistics Manager Jonathan A. Allen '96.

The R/O Committee consists of about 45 student volunteers who are part of 15 subcommittees, such as the one responsible for the "Daily Confusion."

In order to deal with budget cutbacks and and the Institute's new calendar, the R/O Committee tried to streamline R/O and reduce waiting times, Swamy said.

"My objective was to keep [R/O] interesting, efficient, and costeffective," said Allen, who was in charge of the budget and scheduling of R/O activities. "My biggest job is to keep track of the budget. Since our budget was cut, it was hard to keep track of how much money each committee got."

In order to cut costs, many events did without the customary food to attract freshmen. "I think the committee had to be more resourceful to make it fun without food," Segal said.

Goals met in many events

"One of the big goals we worked on was to simplify R/O check-in," Swamy said. "Lines were almost nonexistent this year." In previous years, freshmen had to wait in hour-long lines to check in at the R/O Center.

In addition, Project Move Off Your Assumptions was a successful bonding experience for the new students and gave them some school spirit, Segal said. "The feedback from most freshmen was that they really enjoyed it. The counselors mentioned that it was really well-organized," Segal said.

Due to greater publicity than in past years, women's events were more successful than usual, Segal said. In particular, at least 150 women attended the Women's Chocolate Feast on Monday.

"We had a very strong women's subcommittee this year," Segal said.

R/O hectic yet successful

"The hardest thing we had to deal with was the new Clearinghouse system," Segal said. "Figuring out how to make it work was a big challenge."

"Even though we were hired early on, it was still hard to give structure to R/O because of previous decisions that couldn't be changed," Swamy said. "For example, we wanted to drop off freshmen at dorms" before having them check in at the R/O Center, "but we couldn't do it because the materials giving arrival directions to freshmen had been printed before June 1."

"I was really surprised that everything ran so smoothly," Allen said. "The only problem is staffing the R/O Center because it is open around 300 hours during rush."

"It's a lot more crazy and hectic than I thought it would be. Things are going on all around campus," Allen added.

"I really enjoyed the experience," Segal said. "Apparently, we have had fewer people comment about disorganization, and upperclassmen have commented about how things were going smoothly."

In order to help next year's planners, Allen said this year's organizers were trying to keep track of how many people attend each event.