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Class of 2002 Arrives on Campus With Different Reactions to MIT

By Brett Altschul

As the remainder of the freshmen class arrive on campus today, they are taking their first steps in their MIT education as they begin Orientation.

Of the 1050 freshmen in this year's class, 600 are male, and 450 are female. That makes the class 43 percent female, keeping the level of females roughly constant for the last four years.

Seventeen percent of the incoming class is underrepresented minorities.

Two hundred twenty-three of the students in the freshman class were high school valedictorians, and 541 of the 619 students with high school rankings were ranked in the top five percent of their classes.

Freshmen mixed on Orientation

Freshman opinions about Orientation so far varied. "It's pretty interesting," said Misha V. Koshelev '02. "I liked trying to pack all the luggage into that little van."

"I'd have to say that it was handled very well," said Joanna C. Bonvette '02.

"Orientation is confusing, definitely bewildering," said Sandy M Pae '02.

"The Hitchhiker's Guide makes it seem very regimented," Pae said. It's very difficult to make sense of the schedule - "what is for men, what is for women, what is mandatory, and what is forbidden," she said.

Some students felt that the events of the past year would diminish their enjoyment of Orientation.

"I can't wait for Orientation, but what I can wait for is all the alcohol seminars I'm going to have to go through in the next two weeks," Bonvette said.

Many freshmen who have already spent time at the Institute had positive comments about MIT.

John C. Ho '02, a participant in the new Freshman Service Program, said that the program was very useful to him. "It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good, I guess," he said.

Ho said that the FSP was "really helpful, just knowing what programs are out there; just getting to meet the other freshmen really early.

"Things are going quite smoothly," said Matthew L. McGann '00, the Orientation logistics coordinator. "We've got a nice flow," he said.

Questioned about the prospect of rain during Orientation, McGann said he wasn't concerned about it interfering with activities. "We have backup plans," he said.

He said that rain would be most dangerous on Thursday, when outdoor activities were planned. "Thursday, we'll just play it by ear," he said. "I mean, we're crossing our fingers. We'd rather it doesn't rain."