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Dormcon Revises Rush Rules; Ends Clearinghouse in Dorms

By Cristin A. Gonzlez

Following intense discussion and work, the Dormitory Council unanimously decided two weeks ago to withdraw its members from the Mediations Committee and end their participation in Clearinghouse, the freshman tracking system used during Residence and Orientation Week.

In the past, Medcomm, a joint committee of Interfraternity Council and Dormcon members, was responsible for protecting the interests of incoming students during rush. Starting as an informal discussion group, it has existed for over two decades.

Dormcon, however, now feels that "the Medcomm rules (and their enforcement) have come to be a matter of concern only to Dormcon," as pointed out in a Nov. 16 memo to the Office of Residence and Campus Activities. Dormcon, in an effort to reinforce the rules it deems important, bestowed the judicial authority previously granted to Medcomm upon its own Judicial Committee.

The currently-accepted draft of the Dormitory Council Judicial Committee rules for next year's rush eliminates the use of Clearinghouse in dormitories. Started in 1967 by Dormcon, Clearinghouse was originally used to help students find rooms in dormitories other than their temporary assignment. A while afterwards, the IFC joined this system. Until now, no revision of Clearinghouse has been made. "When we used Clearinghouse we were doing a lot of work for no purpose and we got no advantage from it," said Dormcon Rush Chair Nicole L. Weymouth '96.

Dormcon's decisions have met some opposition in RCA and the IFC.

Associate Dean of Residence and Campus Activities Margaret A. Jablonski said "as of right now we would like to see Clearinghouse function in some capacity and are open to working with IFC and Dormcon to come up with something that works for both groups."

"I understand Dormcon's rationale of not wanting Clearinghouse, but in the best interest of MIT I believe that they should hold on to it, for it helps keep rush more or less organized and allows the administration to contact freshmen in the case of an emergency,"said IFCPresident Brian D. Dye '96.

"I think we need a Medcomm to bridge the gap between the IFC and the dormitories," he said.

Dormcon has also tentatively adopted a new draft of "Rules of the Dormitory Council Judicial Committee" for the next R/OWeek.

These changes reflect their revised goals: "(1) to protect the safety and privacy of incoming students and dormitory residents, (2) to promote fairness between living groups and (3) to help incoming students make informed and uncoerced choices."

These changes are "one of the most positive changes to dorm R/O since the badmouthing rule was revoked. We received a lot of positive feedback from not only the presidents but the residents of the dormitories that are encouraged about the next upcoming rush," said Dormcon President Dhaya Lakshminarayanan '96.

Dormcon also seeks to establish a greater degree of security during rush by increasing the patrolling of the dormitories and restricting access to incoming students. Under this system, each dormitory's desk would serve the function that the Clearinghouse desk did before. However, information as to a freshman's location would not be provided.

The rules governing postering during rush are also being considered by Dormcon. Each dormitory would be able to set its own rules concerning postering, while excessive postering would be dealt with by Judcomm, according to its new regulations.

Dormcon will likely meet next term to discuss the changes with Jablonski's office and the IFC.