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MOYA, Tech Trek Get Mixed Reviews From Class of 2000

Helen Lin--The Tech
After the President's Welcome Convocation, Project Move Off Your Assumptions leaders held up signs to help freshmen identify their respective MOYA groups on Kresge Oval.

By David D. Hsu
News Editor

The sun shone on Briggs Field as freshmen participated in a revamped Project Move Off Your Assumptions program yesterday afternoon.

"It never rains when the freshmen arrive," said Director of Crew Stuart Schmill '86, who was on hand to help supervise MOYA activities.

The usual name-learning and trust-building exercises associated with MOYA were limited to the first hour. MOYA was then followed by Tech Trek, an activity that sent MOYA groups searching for answers to riddles across campus.

MOYAteaches trust, teamwork

After the President's Welcome Convocation, freshmen left Kresge Auditorium and headed toward their pre-assigned MOYAgroups. There were 90 groups, named after the chemical elements, of approximately 12 freshmen each.

After some drinks and stretching exercises, groups started some name games similar to previous years. In one, a freshman would make some motion while saying their names. The other group members would then repeat the name and the motion.

MOYAthen moved on to activities that would build trust within the group. In the trust fall, members of a group held out arms to catch a volunteer who would fall backwards into their arms.

Freshmen also participated in several teamwork activities. In one such activity, freshmen would line up with half facing one way and half facing the opposite direction. Then, following a set of movement rules, all those facing one way would have to exchange places with the other half.

Another required blindfolded group members to pull a cord loop into various different shapes.

Freshmen reacted fairly positively to MOYA.

"Well, it's a good opportunity to meet people. We learn to trust each other. It's a fun activity that relieves stress after all I've been through this summer," said Fernando Perez '00, who was at MITover the summer participating in the Interphase program.

"I thought it was pretty good," said David A. Shear '00. Although he had done some of the activities before, Shear felt MOYAhelped freshmen get to know each other.

Still, some had criticism for MOYA.

"I think there should be more activities. I think everyone should be doing these activities," said Peter C. Huang '00. There are people who do not participate in the trust fall which partially defeats the purpose of the activity, he said.

Nina A. Irani '97, a member of the MOYAsubcommittee of the Residence and Orientation Week committee, said that the MOYA activities went well.

Tech Trek confusing

Tech Trek, the finale of MOYA, was kept a secret from everyone, even the MOYAleaders.

Schmill speculated that organizers probably did not want the event to be hacked, he said.

Tech Trek kicked off with MOYA groups working to remove a can of water from the center of a circle without touching the ground in the circle or spilling water. The can contained the first clue to the mystery hunt.

Armed with campus maps and How to Get Around MIT guides, MOYAgroups and their leaders explored the Institute for answers to riddles. The answers to the riddles would also be used to help crack a coded message.

One riddle asked the groups to identify a philosopher written on the even-numbered side of Killian Court. Once the groups arrived at an answer, they would report it to a worker nearby. Regardless of what the answer is, the MOYA group would then receive another riddle which would lead them to another area on campus.

Groups traveled all over campus, from Kresge Auditorium to the Media Laboratory to the 26-100 lecture hall.

Groups were then to finish at Kresge Oval about two hours after Tech Trek started. Prizes will be awarded to groups today based on their success solving the riddles.

"It was confusing, because no one knew what was going on," said Cindy H. Liang '00.

"It was fun but confusing," said Gillian M. Deutch '00. The groups ended up following their leaders since the leaders knew the campus better, she said.

MOYA leaders were not guaranteed to be correct, however. One group, looking for the reading room in the same building that houses the Campus Activities Complex, headed past the Student Center into the Infinite Corridor.

"It was definitely different," said Eva C. Lee '98, a MOYAleader. "I think it was a good experience." Tech Trek also was a complete surprise, she said.

Since there was confusion, "MOYAleaders should not have been kept in the dark as long as they were," said Aaron R. McCabe '97, a MOYA leader.