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Killian Kick-Off Lets The Rush Begin Despite Format Change

By Brett Altschul

A much-modified Killian Kick-Off started the official process of rush yesterday.

Despite periodic misting and patches of mud, the weather remained reasonable, so that the event didn't need to move indoors, as it did last year.

The biggest change in the Kick-Off this year was the more relaxed atmosphere, and the less-restrictive regulations. Living groups were allowed to advertise as soon as they arrived but were forbidden from carrying off freshmen once rush officially began, as had been common in previous years.

The change was designed to make the whole event more friendly, said Katherine E. Hardacre '99, chair of the Interfraternity Council Judicial Committee.

Freshmen and upperclassmen were supposed to mix gradually, Hardacre said. The mixing could go on before the official beginning of rush, she added.

However, until the ceremonial opening of rush, upperclassmen were not allowed to pass out materials to freshmen or to try to recruit them, Hardacre said.

Since people were no longer forbidden from displaying their fraternity letters, they couldn't be prohibited from answering freshmen's questions about their house even before rush officially began, she said.

This year marked the first time that dormitories were allowed to participate in Killian Kick-Off, with dormitory rush beginning at the same time as fraternity rush.

Few dormitories displayed the same kind of extensive preparation for the Kick-Off as the other living groups. However, the East Campus contingent included several people, both male and female, dressed in grass skirts and coconut bras.

Mingling proceeds confusedly

The process by which the freshmen and upperclassmen were supposed to meet and mingle did not go off without any hitches.

As the freshmen began to clap at the end of the Class of 2002 picture, Kappa Sigma brothers charged forward, followed by several other fraternities that were positioned near the southern end of Killian Court, far from the freshmen.

After the first surge, members of the IFC Judicial Committee ordered the fraternity members back towards Memorial Drive until the freshmen could descend from the steps of Building 10.

"First the fraternity people surged forward, and the freshmen moved toward them," said Noah Z. Bray-Ali '01, a member of Alpha Delta Phi.

Then both sides receded, but they quickly moved forward again, then receded again, before the actual mingling began, he said. "It was like a simple harmonic oscillator."

Speaker largely ignored

Although the Kick-Off still featured the three traditional student speakers, all three speeches were very abbreviated and largely ignored by the crowd of freshmen, who were already conversing with upperclassmen.

The first speaker was Manju V. Madhavan '99, president of the Dormitory Council. He reminded freshmen not to forget about the "widely ignored" dormitories during rush.

Madhavan also advised the freshmen to enjoy rush as much as possible. "Make use of all the upperclassmen waiting to serve you, because that's not going to last," he said.

Next, Connie W. Pong '99, chair of Women's Conference spoke, reminding women about the options for them, while men are involved in their "rush adventure." Don't worry, she said, "you won't be left out."

Finally, Hongsup Park '99, the IFC rush chair, spoke to the class of 2002. He congratulated the Orientation committee, drawing a feeble round of applause from the audience close to Building 10.

Park emphasized the changing nature of rush. "You are the first people to come through the system," he said.

He also provided more of the standard advice given to freshmen, saying "know what you want in a living group before going there," before finishing with the canonical phrase, "Let the rush begin!"