Dorms Not Involved in Residence MailingBy Brett Altschul
No dormitories are participating in the supplemental mailing of housing information to incoming freshmen, despite the new policy of equal treatment for all living groups.
When he announced the new Orientation policies in February, Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum Kip V. Hodges PhD '82 said that dormitories would be entitled to all the same opportunities as fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.
However, Jennifer A. Frank '00, the rush chair for East Campus, said that she was told by the office of Residence and Campus Activities that the mailing was not open to dormitories.
New mailing sends out rush books
"We were told that the mailing is supposed to be a replacement for the rush books" that fraternities previously sent out, Frank said. Since dormitories never sent out rush booklets in the past, they did not need to be a part of the replacement mailing, she said.
"As I understand it, since the fraternities don't have the students' names, they need RCA to act as a go-between, to paste on mailing labels," she said. Since the dormitory information was always mailed through RCA, there was no need for the dormitories to get involved in the new mailing, Frank said. RCA is still sending out information on each dormitory as it always has, she said.
Duane H. Dreger '99, the president of the Interfraternity Council, said that the materials being sent out would be nothing more than the normal rush books, but all in one package. This is an IFC project, he said.
"We put a size limit on it, so that the freshmen wouldn't get a crateload of papers,"Dreger said. "It comes out to be about 24 pages plus the cover." Moreover, the contents needs to be approved by Assistant Dean for RCA Neal H. Dorow, the adviser for fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.
"The mailing will be paid for by MIT, and the IFC will reimburse the Institute," he said. Each house has to pay for the cost of printing it. The IFC will have only the costs of printing the overall rush information booklet and sending the entire package to the students, Dreger said.
Manju V. Madhavan '99, president of the dormitory council, said that none of the dormitories had especially wanted to buy a spot in the mailing. "We saw no need, since RCA was already soliciting information from the dormitories," he said.
Madhavan also said that his understanding was that the dormitories would have been allowed space in the mailing, if they had wanted to pay for it. "I'm sure that had we wanted to get in the mailing, we could have put up the funds," he said.
The mailing was primarily an Interfraternity Council project, Madhavan said. "They took the initiative to put the information together and spend the money," he said.
Frank agreed that East Campus did not want to be involved. "We're not losing anything," she said. "All the [independent living group] houses had to pay to get in the mailing."
Since East Campus is not really losing anything, it was not necessary to spend the extra money, she said.
However, Frank disagreed with Madhavan's statement that the dormitory could have gotten into the mailing, if it had desired. "[Coordinator of Student Programs] Elizabeth I. Cogliano said that the mailing was for fraternities only," she said. Cogliano could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Other dormitory officials said that they were not made aware of the booklet, and the rules were not made at all clear.
"I didn't feel that I got much communication with the people in RCA on that subject," said Vanessa Y. Yen '00, a former rush chair for McCormick Hall.