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Frosh Enjoy MOYA Despite Move Inside

Wan Yusof Wan Morshidi -- The Tech
Nikki Spinello '01 clings tightly to a rope held by her teammates as she tries to retrieve a can of tennid balls during a MOYA event at the Johnson Athletics Center.

By Zareena Hussain
associate news Editor

"It never rains when the freshman arrive," said Stuart Schmill '86 who aided with project Move Off Your Assumptions '96.

But that was last year. Yesterday, for the first time in seven years, Project Move Off Your Assumptions, which normally begins in Kresge Oval and migrates to Briggs Field, was moved inside because of rain.

The event was moved to four different indoor locations - DuPont Gymnasium, Rockwell Cage, and the two floors in Johnson Athletic Center.

After the President's Convocation and Contact MIT, Wesley T. Chan '00, R/O Committee logistics manager, called on freshman to move off their assumptions and meet their MOYAleaders not in Kresge Oval, but the Kresge lobby, a considerably smaller space.

Group leaders awaited freshmen at the perimeter of the lobby while holding overhead posters of their respective group's assigned element and atomic number.

In a jam-packed lobby, one worried mother said, "Jesus, how am I going to meet my son here? I've got to give him his bags."

For MOYA leaders, the major difficulty was finding their charges.

"Since it's raining, it's kind of messed up," said John H. Kang '99, a MOYAgroup leader. "One thousand freshman in the lobby is kind of hard to manage."

However, the group leaders coped with the crowds, successfully locating the members of their groups.

"I jumped up and down and yelled out, Argon!' really, really loudly," said Mark C. Philip '00. But even this leader couldn't collect all the members of his group. "One defected to helium," he said.

Finding one's MOYA group was no easy task for freshman either. Josh Sussan '01, at one end of Kresge lobby had trouble pushing through the crowd.

This isn't very good, Sussan said. "I think my group is at the other end."

MOYA leaders prepared for rain

One or two students were lost, but they were eventually able to find their respective MOYAgroup leaders, said Sachiyo Minegishi '99, a member of the MOYA R/O subcommittee.

"Every coach has a map of where each student should be," Minegishi said.

In the event of rain, there had always been been a contingency plan to move MOYA inside, Minegishi said.

"This is the first time we ever had to use it," she said. "We train [MOYA leaders] from the beginning for rain or shine."

Event challenges skills, creativity

This year MOYA was expanded to last for two hours. It was divided into five sections: warm-up, ice breakers, a riddle game, problem-solving activities, and the grand finale - the mess of creativity.

The warm-up included jumping jacks and stretches as well as everybody-up in which the entire MOYA group had to work together to lift themselves off the floor without touching their hands to the floor.

"It's reminiscent of elementary school athletics," said Mark L. Strauss '01.

After the warm-up began ice-breakers in which group members tossed around tennis balls while calling out the recipient's name. Then the a game of cat & mouse had freshman chasing each other in the controlled setting of a MOYAgroup.

The next component of MOYA was a new addition designed to challenge the minds of freshman, a riddle which included four mini riddles, the answers to which helped answer a fifth, larger riddle.

Then followed problem-solving activities including the new addition of sticks and stones. Groups were challenged to build the tallest chopstick structure possible that could support a tennis ball.

The event was capped off with the mess of creativity in which freshman were challenged to express what they felt would happen in their next four years at MIT on a three by six foot area of posterboard.

Judging from the results of sticks and stones and the mess of creativity, Chan said, "it does show MIT students are really creative."

The MOYA groups' work was judged last night. The winners of sticks and stones and the mess of creativity will be announced at Killian Kick-Off today.

Students appreciate event

The overall impression of many students who participated in MOYA was positive.

"I thought it was really cool," said Aparna Polavarpu '01. "At first it was kind of odd, but the fact that we were doing things out of the ordinary brought us closer together."

"I thought it was fun, I learned a lot, and we met a lot of new people," said Lisa M. Stuart '01.

"I was really glad something was held, because it's really hard to meet people here," said Baris I. Erkmen '01.

"It helps the crowd feel a lot smaller," said Kailas N. Narendran '01.