A Call to Action
This is a call to action. I hope that everyone by now knows that the faculty have passed a motion, to be voted on next month, that asks the administration to house all freshmen in dormitories starting with the Class of 2002.
If such a motion were accepted by the administration, there are several ways of implementing this new system. The ideas I have heard most often are randomly putting freshmen in dorms, therefore eliminating rush altogether, and reducing the size of the freshman class.
It is my belief that these changes are considered to be ideal by some members of the faculty and administration. It is also my strong belief that either of these changes would affect every single student at this institution, especially those who live in MIT housing. This is no longer an fraternity, sorority, and independent living group issue. This is everyone's concern.
I think there are a lot of things wrong with the current rush system, but in August, I thought that there was nothing I could do to change it, that no one would listen to me. Now is the time when the ones who have the power to change things are listening. You can make a difference by simply letting your professors, your adviser, your administration know what you consider valuable in our current system, and what you want to see changed. If you say nothing now, you will have given up your right to complain later.
Personally, I think that this motion is also ineffectual, since it says nothing about alcohol. The death of Scott S. Krueger '01 was senseless; I grieve for him, his family, and his friends. But my personal opinion is that his death had very little to do with living off-campus and much to do with the attitude that getting drunk is cool. This attitude is not limited to fraternities - I believe it is present in a large cross-section of my generation. Unless this attitude is addressed and changed, Krueger's death will have been an excuse to reform the housing system, and not a wake-up call to the dangers of the misuse of alcohol.
Sarah L. McDougal '00