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R/O Showed MIT Spirit Is Strong

R/O Showed MIT Spirit Is Strong

The spirit of MIT is very much alive in the Class of 2001. I've been closely involved with planning and organizing Residence and Orientation Week since March and have seen it evolve into what it is now. I've seen the incoming freshmen class move from eager pre-arrival anticipation to wild enthusiasm for MIT during the President's Convocation. Amazingly, that same enthusiasm is still present in the majority of the Class of 2001 despite a few cynical complaints that have surfaced recently.

As I wrote in the Hitchhiker's Guide to R/O '97, magic does exist at MIT. No one really knows exactly how R/O comes together; it just does, and that is what makes R/O so magical

So I hope freshmen have taken R/O for what it was worth. R/O wasn't meant to be intellectually stimulating (you'll get all the intellectual exhilaration you want the moment classes begin) or overly serious (if it was, I wouldn't have strolled out on stage in front the entire Class of 2001 as one of the Men in Black). Fundamentally, R/O was meant to introduce the spirit of MIT to incoming students. Along the way, we also hoped to familiarize freshmen with the Institute, to help them find a place to live (possibly for their entire stay at MIT), and to acclimate them to the academic rigors you'll face when the term begins.

As the term begins and progresses, I hope that new students will keep the same enthusiasm they had at the onset of R/O. Most of all, that they don't let the spirit of MIT escape them. The spirit of MIT isn't tangible or something that can be precisely described. It is like the chemical principle of enthalpy: you can't describe it per se, you can only see the effects of it. The spirit of MIT is something that keeps you up late at night tooling away at problem sets until the sun rises. It is also something that drives students to leave police cars on top of the Great Dome.

In any case, don't let cynics convince you that MIT is an apathetic or worthless place. MIT is a phenomenal place, and there is always something fascinating and exciting happening around the clock. Always keep alive the spirit of MIT, and may MIT be your Camelot well into the future.

Wesley T. Chan '01

R/O '97 Logistics Manager