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R/O Stress Takes Its Toll On Everyone

By Erik S. Balsley

As most freshmen have discovered, rush is a hectic few days filled with events sponsored by living groups. For the upperclassmen running those events, rush is an entirely different experience, although every bit as hectic.

Rush for upperclassmen - who not only have to get to know members of the incoming freshman class but also make sure that their events run smoothly - can make rush an intense and stressful period for some upperclassmen.

The "stress is at a similar level to when you are actually going through" rush, Kevin Amon- lirdviman '97 from Phi Delta Theta.

"When you're going through rush, you're thinking about where you're going to live and what you're going to be doing with your four years at MIT," Amonlirdviman said.

"On the other side of [rush] you're just thinking about where you've been and not only where you'd like to go, but where those around you would like to go," Amonlirdviman said.

In addition to having at least a year of experience at MIT to draw upon during rush, upperclassmen have been through at least one rush and have a more complete understanding of what rush entails.

Although there is stress, "it's a different sort of stress for upperclassmen," said Eugene Kuznetsov '98 from Tau Epsilon Pi.

The big difference is that now "I kind of know what's going on, and I can explain it to the freshmen," said Matthew A. Slayter '98 from Baker House.

"Basically, we're running rush, and we have to take care of the little details. As freshmen, we didn't know what to expect," said Next House resident Brenda S. Cho '98.

Some rush workers, however, said that rush was not too stressful for them.

"I feel no stress about it at all because there's so many people helping with rush here," Slayter said.

"I don't think it's terribly stressful," Kuznetsov said. "It's stressful but manageable."

Preparation helps ease stress

For many living groups, rush is the culmination of a planning process that begins well in advance of the arrival of the freshman class, sometimes as early as last spring.

For some, the level of preparation reduces the stress they deal with when rush arrives.

"We've been preparing for a long time, and we haven't really felt that much stress," Cho said.

"The stress level seems to have fallen off a bit now that rush has started," said Random Hall resident Daniel J. Jablonski '96.

Still, rush activities involve a considerable amount of work on the part of the upperclassmen sponsoring them.

"Sometimes it's a lot of work, but at the end it's always very rewarding," Kuznetsov said.

"The people who are here to work rush are doing a lot of work and not sleeping that much, I think," Jablonski said.

Lack of sleep is another thing often attributed to rush by upperclassmen. But the amount of lost sleep is sometimes not that much different from other times of the year.

"We don't sleep as much as we'd like to, but that's not unusual for MIT," Youssef M. Marzouk '97 said.

Overall, rush "is a lot of work and there's a lot of stress involved, but it's worth it," said Rho Chi Nancy C. Gotta '97, who counsels freshmen rushing sororities.

In the end, "rush is rush whether you're on the freshman or upperclassman side," Amonlirdviman said.