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Dormitories Plan Lively Rush, Some Bemoan Postering Policy

By Douglas E. Heimburger
Associate NewsEditor

While fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups hold extravagant rush events, dormitories are also events, often on a lesser scale, designed to acquaint freshmen with the living options available in Institute housing.

"It's important for freshmen to find a place where they're comfortable and where they're basically going to be living for the next four years," said Anita M. Barci '98, McCormick Hall rush chair.

Others cited the need to preserve the character of the dormitory."If we find freshmen we like, we kind of try to rush them" into ranking the dormitory high in the lottery, said Victor Lum '99, Next House rush chair.

Rush chairs emphasized the need for freshmen to explore their options and find a dormitory that fits their personality and living style. "WhenI was a freshman, I didn't do the dorm rush, and I picked a dorm I didn't like," said MacGregor House Rush Chair Yuliya S. Jhanwar '98.

Starting Saturday at 4 p.m., students who want dormitory housing will begin to enter their preferences into a Project Athena lottery. Results from the system, which closes Monday at 3 p.m., will be available Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Dorms feature varying events

Dormitories said that they would hold different events to encourage interaction between freshmen and upperclassmen and to help freshmen choose where to live.

Some dormitories have large-scale events. For example, East Campus will sponsor its annual carnival on Sunday, featuring a moon bounce, snow cones, and a "truck tub" rolling down Amherst Alley, said Esther Y. Lee '98, East Campusrush chair.

At New House, scheduled activities include a playroom with games and miniature golf, said Candace S.Kamachi '00, New House rush chair.

MacGregor House will feature a carnival on Sunday, including a dunk tank and a caricature artist, Jhanwar said.

Other dormitories will feature lower-key events. McCormick residents will "focus more on hanging out and spending time with the frosh and having them get a feel for what the dorm is like," Barci said.

Rush chairs disturbed by policies

Many rush chairs said that they were disturbed by the Dormitory Council's postering policy, which prohibits postering outside of the dormitory for events held before 6:15 p.m. Saturday evening.

According to Dormcon policies, dormitories may hold open houses and provide tours for interested students before Saturday evening, when dormitory rush officially begins.

The policy "seems sort of silly but it's a concession to the fraternities," said RandomHallRush Chair Jonathan R. Blandford '98.

Many others agreed. "You'd think that Dormcon would be on the dormitories side, but they're with the frats," Kamachi said.

Dormcon President Ashesh P.Shah '98 said that Dormcon saw both sides of the issue. "It puts us at a disadvantage because once some freshmen go across the river they're not going to come back for three days."

Fraternities, however, have to offer placement to a certain number of freshmen while dormitories will automatically be assigned a set number of individuals, Shah said.

"I understand it, and Ican live with it," Lum said.

Some dormitories decided to plan events for the freshmen housed in their dormitory. Baker House, for example, has planned a breakfast and a barbecue for tomorrow, Baker House Rush Chair Jeffrey S. Brown '99 said.

New House held a barbecue for "anyone who doesn't want to go to the frats" on Friday night, Kamachi said.

Others, however, have planned few events until the official start of dormitory rush. MacGregor plans not to have tours and movies untilSaturday night, Jhanwar said.

"We felt our [rush] budget was better spent on Sunday,"said Blandford. Random Hall plans to have low-key events until Saturday night.

Frank Dabek contributed to the reporting of this article.