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IFC, Administration Consider New Rush Rules

By Rochelle Tung

As rush for the Class of 2000 draws closer, administrators and students involved with Residence and Orientation Week are considering several substantial revisions to some activities during R/O.

Currently, there are plans to change Thursday Night Dinners, institute a new policy on alcohol use during rush, and relax rules for sorority rush.

Each year, the R/O Committee takes a look at some of the changes that they might want to make to R/O, said Margaret A. Jablonski, associate dean for residence and campus activities. This year, the committee is focusing on changing the dinners - a night traditionally set aside for upperclassmen to take freshmen out to dinner - in response to problems last R/O.

In the fall event, upperclassmen rushed uncontrollably from Kresge Oval to collect freshmen before the end of Project Move Off Your Assumptions, their traditional cue. Campus Police had to be called in to contain the crowd.

"I thought there was going to be a riot," said Mark A. Herschberg G, a member of the R/O Judcial Committee.

Several proposals are now under consideration to allow all houses an equal chance to get freshmen at the same time.

The two main problems are the "mob scene and flagrant rushing," said Joseph M. Lee '97, Interfraternity Council rush chair. One suggestion is that a definitive ending time of MOYA be set prior to the actual event, Lee said.

But the confusion that surrounds MOYA - which involves a total of over 1300 hundred freshmen and MOYA leaders arrayed across Briggs Field - makes it is almost impossible to abide by a declared time, Herschberg said.

Another suggestion is to let MOYA leaders take freshmen to pre-arranged groups of dinner hosts. These groups, each with a list of specific freshmen, would take the newcomers out to eat and return them to campus, according to Jablonski.

The emphasis then is on "changing the nature of Thursday Night Dinners and changing the nature of how upperclass students get assigned to take freshmen out to dinner," Jablonski said.

Hopefully, it will "be a better experience for freshmen," she said. "It will be a welcome to MIT, not to rush," said Jablonski said.

IFCdiscussing plans for dry rush

One major change the IFC is presently considering is making rush completely alcohol-free. Both sororities and dormitories already have dry rush.

As the rules regarding dry rush stand right now, all fraternity members excluding freshmen are allowed to drink during R/O, Herschberg said.

"Freshmen should be making a decision on their living arrangements without alcohol present," Jablonski said. "A major rush event with alcohol that's open to non-MIT students is probably not the best environment for freshmen to be making a decision about where they're going to live."

But Lee said the IFC is looking at making sure rush events just don't "revolve around" alcohol, he said. "Most places already don't," he added.

The idea of the changes is to move "the emphasis away from alcohol," Lee said. "In the long term, that's a positive change for all of the IFC and MIT in general."