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Life in Fraternities Not Based On Alcohol

I was very upset when I glanced at The Tech and there were two columns concerning dry Residence and Orientation Week. It was the second of these two columns ["Dry R/O Week Would Lead to Downfall of Fraternity System," March 12] by A. Arif Husain '97 that really concerned me. At first glance, Husain seems opposed to a dry rush; however, after perusing the column, I realized it is very cynical and general, and the author never gives the fraternity system a fair word.

I must first say that when I read that Interfraternity Council President Jason D. Pride '97 said that fraternity life at MIT is "based on alcohol" I was upset to say the least. I live in a fraternity, and although many brothers in my house drink a lot, I could never say that my fraternity is based on alcohol. Living in a fraternity means much more than just swimming in beer and being obnoxious. It is about the friendships made and the people living together. I agree that while alcohol and fraternities are often linked together, the entire fraternity system can not be stereotyped and condemned for the actions of some. I know for a fact that there are several fraternities on campus where alcohol seldom has a place within the walls.

Secondly I would like to address the arguments in Husain's column. This column makes the entire fraternity system at MIT sound like a bunch of alcoholics with delirium tremens who couldn't rush a freshman without a 1.75 liter of Jack Daniels in their liver. I resent this. Having experienced rush from the fraternity point of view I can honestly say that drinking excessively during rush is not only a bad idea, but prohibited in most houses. What kind of freshman wants to see upperclassmen vomiting in garbage cans and urinating off rooftops during rush? The fact of the matter is, a dry rush will make little difference to most fraternities. The only purpose for having alcohol present during rush is so freshmen don't get the wrong idea. Imagine the surprise of an incoming freshman who thinks a house doesn't drink, only to have kegs and kegs and more kegs brought out after rush is over.

Jesse Geraci '98