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1,500 New Graduate Students Begin Graduate R/O Activities

By Frank Dabek
Associate News Editor

Orientation begins today for the other half of the MIT population. Graduate Orientation, organized by the Graduate Student Council, will continue through Saturday and features a variety of events designed to introduce graduate students to MIT and each other.

There are about 1,500 incoming graduate students, however about 460 of those students are enrolled in the Sloan School of Business and participate in a separate orientation program. The remaining students participate in the orientation program organized by GSC.

The goal of orientation is to provide a comprehensive view of life at MIT and in Boston. "Graduate life is centered in each department. It's hard for each department to develop a comprehensive orientation," said Eva Moy G, one of the coordinators of Graduate Orientation. We're trying to "make things easier" for incoming students, Moy said.

Graduate Orientation focuses on "teaching students how to be a student at MIT, with the emphasis on at MIT," said Geoffrey J. Coram G, president of the GSC. He said that the departmental orientations, which will be held later, teach students to be part of a department but not part of the Institute as a whole.

As a result, Orientation "needs to be pulled together by a central body" such as GSC, which is the graduate equivalent of the Undergraduate Association, said Moy.

Funding for the orientation is provided by the Graduate Education Office but all planning is done by the GSC. While the administration does not plan any events, Moy said "we don't try to step out of bounds. We have a very good relationship [with the administration.]"

When the GSC began organizing orientation, the Graduate Education Office wasn't interested in organizing the event themselves but felt that orientation was important and therefore simply provided the GSCwith funding for the event, Coram said.

Graduates socialize at events

The array of events planned for graduate students includes both informational and social events.

The social events begin with a picnic in Killian Court on Thursday. Moy described the picnic as the only time other than commencement where the majority of the class would be gathered in one place.

Other events include subsidized trips into and around Boston. A trolley tour, hiking trip, harbor cruise, and RedSox game are all slated and will cost five dollars. A whale watching trip will cost interested students 10 dollars and, unlike the other trips, is open to any graduate student.

There will also be jaunts to the Muddy Charles and the Thirsty Ear pubs. We want to "make sure people get to know students from other departments" through these social events Moy said.

GSC acclimates students to MIT

The information booth, open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., will provide information about MIT, Boston, and the GSC. It's "very hard to let students know about the entire Institute on a department level," Moy said.

Coram said that the first 700 incoming graduate students who visit the information booth will receive a student advantage' card valued at 20 dollars. The card provides discounts at regional businesses.

The MIT Information Fair, which will take place from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. on Wednesday, is an "interactive version of the info booth," Moy said. Citing the need for such information sessions, Moy noted that"a lot of people didn't know that MIT had a career office for graduate students."