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Rushers Should Be Respectful of Those Not Rushing

Column by A. Arif Husain
Opinion Editor

By now, we're all well into Residence and Orientation Week, and for better or for worse the rush has begun. The excitement of the period has barely even peaked, and like the yearly salmon spawning, over a thousand frosh fight the R/O current to make their way to residential bliss.

But what about the rest of us? These two weeks have been carefully orchestrated to maximize productivity and enhance settling in for our new freshmen class. We all support that cause. Certainly, though, that does not exclude the many hundreds of non-freshmen from our own civil liberties. In all fairness, those of us who have been around all summer, or those who chose to return early must be allowed as pleasant a time during the next two weeks as any frosh. Our new guests have been advised, but I cannot overlook their equally needy hosts. So I begin my list of helpful suggestions.

Rushers, please don't be jerks. When I was a frosh, I remember the persistent irritation of having every single letter-wearing Greek I passed stop me to solicit invitations. Back then there was a chance I might have accepted, and occasionally I did. But the ultra-tenacious tended to be turnoffs rather than convincing. Needless to say, it's somewhat more irritating to be stopped now. Granted, any frosh or upperclassmen alike would be happy to schmooze a little while purloining some free dining. But nobody likes being harassed. Do us all a favor and tone down the aggression. Perhaps solicitors could carry a little brass bell, and jingle it when they'd like to initiate invitation proceedings. I don't know if it would be any less annoying, or even very effective, but at least it would be amusing to see letter-wearing Greeks ringing little brass bells all the time.

Next, please keep the shirts on. Agreed, the summer days are hot, and the humidity has made things far from comfortable. But that's no reason to unleash those hairy beer guts for the world to see. Even the fit guys could do well to keep things covered up. Let's face it: Most labs, computer centers, or workplaces aren't too sunny. Without being too offensive, I'll just mention that great song, "Whiter Shade of Pale." Enough said. So in terms of fashion, please keep the tops on, fellas. Oh, that goes for sororities, too.

Speaking of sororities, I can't pass up this chance to think out loud (well okay, in print). What exactly is it that makes sororities think they have to be so sneaky? I respect any group's right to have private events, and privacy is an important and respectable concern. But let's be realistic. Is there really a need to keep the wraps so tight? All week, staff members of The Tech, as well as other groups who share common space in the Student Center, have had to trample over the drop-posters and decorative creations of sorority groups who quietly work away behind opaqued windows, forced to overflow into the hallways and occasionally commandeer the local men's room.

My point is not that these groups have been difficult to accommodate; quite the opposite, there has been nothing but pleasant interaction all around. But why are sororities required to be as extremely reserved and contained as fraternities are boisterous? Their positions are nearly diametrically opposed. I'll admit that I'm not informed in regard to the background of the relevant policies, but I can't imagine why things should be so different. I've seen women who can drain a keg as well as any guy. Women play frisbee too, you know. And food, well, don't women eat the same stuff? So where's the need for an indoor promenade, when the boys are playing in the sun? But, alas, I'm drowning in a sea of speculation with no point to keep me afloat. So I'll move on.

As a resident of west campus, I've gotten used to dodging runaway frisbees along Amherst Alley, but it's never been a concern. The few independent living group houses Ipass on a regular basis tend to add a pleasant bit of charm to an often too-quiet dormitory strip. Usually, one or two houses pop out their speakers and liven up a warm Friday afternoon. This week, I've noticed that nearly every building has it's own system blaring in full glory. Every time Ileave my dorm I feel like I'm being followed by some kind of wacked-out disc jockey with multiple personality disorder. Instead of a competition, I think it would be a great hack for one house to play the same music as a neighbor, except with a slight shift in phase. Destructive interference is the key to communal harmony. And it's a lot less noisy. Let me know how it works out.

The budding philanthropist that I am, I could not be happier to see bright-eyed young faces glowing with high school charm. Meeting interesting people is a true joy, and I always cite R/O as by far the most lively time on campus. So I must cap my verbal tirade with at least a bit of praise for all of the hard workers around campus. Good work on the weather folks, it hasn't rained for days.