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Rain Drives Kick-Off Out of Killian Court

Greg Kuhnen -- The Tech
Dance Troupe performs at Killian Kick-Off, relocated to the Johnson Athletics Center because of rain.

By Brett Altschul
associate news editor

Intermittent rain yesterday forced Killian Kick-Off, the event that opens rush, out of the court that shares its name and into Johnson Athletics Center.

The new location caused several changes to the program. The three speakers who were scheduled to introduce the various living options all gave abbreviated versions of their speeches.

Ashesh P. Shah '98, president of the dormitory council, took two sentences to tell freshmen to enjoy rush.

Bonnie S. Cheung '98, president of the women's conference, told women that rush was for them, too. "Whatever you do, just have a blast and get the most out of rush," she said.

Finally, Interfraternity Council Rush Chair Jorge F. Rodriguez '98, told freshmen that rush was one of the most important times of their lives.

"Indeed, it will be fun," he said. "Take the time to do rush and nothing else."

Rodriguez then started rush with the traditional phrase: "Let the rush begin!"

Skits entertain freshmen

Before hearing the speakers, the freshmen saw several performances, had a chance to mingle with upperclassmen, and ate ice cream. At the beginning of the kick-off, the freshmen were seated on the bleachers.

The assembly opened with the announcement of the groups that won the riddle, sticks and stones, traffic jam, and poster competitions during Project Move Off Your Assumptions.

Next, several upperclassmen performed a skit featuring the various aspects of rush and early life at MIT. The montage of scenes addressed the issues of fraternity referrals, sexual identity, and parental objections. It also featured the post-rush problems of a student who failed to balance academics and partying.

The Muses and the Chorallaries, two a capella groups, then sang several songs for the freshmen. One freshman expressed dissatisfaction with the songs, screaming "Let the rush begin," from the bleachers.

Then the freshmen were allowed to disperse around the floor of Johnson, to meet upperclassmen and eat ice cream.

After the socializing, the freshmen reseated themselves, along with the upperclassmen, on the gym floor. The speakers spoke from the top of the bleachers.

Freshmen have mixed feelings

Many freshmen felt that the kick-off was neither stellar nor awful. "I didn't really mind," said Sonja J. Ellefson '01. However, she added, "It would have been better outside."

Many freshmen also were unsure about what rush would really be like. "Maybe it's good; maybe it's bad," said Rami Musa '01. "I'll just have to rush and find out."

Fraternities "all sound the same," said Michael J. Tasi '01. "First they tell you they're unique."

During the rush survival sessions, it was decided to move the kick-off to Johnson, said Dean for Student Life Margaret R. Bates. Too much equipment in Killian Court would be damaged by rain, she said.

Runners took this information to the groups of freshmen at their various locations around campus, said Tom S. Lee, '98, the program director for the Residence and Orientation Committee.

Some upperclassmen were dissatisfied with the minimal information given by the speakers. "As a dorm person, I feel gypped by the DormCon president's short speech," said Jacob B. Schwartz '98.

Zareena Hussain contributed to the reporting of this story.