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FLP Bonding Activities Brought Frosh Together

FLP Bonding Activities Brought Frosh Together

As a Freshmen Leadership Program '97 participant, I want to say to all of the other frosh that I am very sorry about the so-called elitism that has been observed of the FLP participants.

I know that I cannot speak for the entire group when I say that I am sorry, but I am sure that many of my fellow FLP participants feel the same way. I am sorry because we had promised ourselves and to each other that, when Residence and Orientation Week starts, we were going to meet all of the other frosh and help everyone to get to know everybody else, that we all were going to be agents of change against the ethnic "Balkanization" at MIT. Instead, we ourselves became just another factor of division in this Balkanization process.

I also want to say that we do not "raise the roof" or heinie-write simply because we love to do it. Instead, we of FLP heinie-write because we all went through emotional trauma together at FLP. Whenever we heinie write "raise the roof" or do too-de-ta, these gestures remind us of the trauma we went through together.

The trauma was very painful, but we learned a lot much from the wounds that have been inflicted upon us, and it somehow made us stronger and united. You can almost think about some of the events at FLP as hazing. They bonded us together.

I ask that next time my fellow freshmen see people "raise the roof" or do too-de-ta, think about the trauma that we had experienced at FLP, and ask themselves whether they would willingly go through these painful experiences. If they could not, then they are in no position to criticize us.

However, these complaints by freshmen have also highlighted another important issue - that we are not following up on our own promises. I want to say to each of my fellow FLP participants: Become an agent of change, not an agent of perpetuation.

Jimmy Wu '01