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Shower Night Enjoyed by Freshmen

The recent column by Elaine Y. Wan '01 ["For A Kinder Freshman Initiation," Sept. 29], suggesting that freshman shower night is violent and irritating, is confirmed neither by personal experience nor factual evidence.

The opinion staff at The Tech are largely successful at presenting good, clear arguments that are backed up by more than hearsay, but every now and again we get a cracker like Wan's column. As soon as I read "I wasn't showered last year, so I can't give a personal account," I knew I was in for a thrill ride of feeble arguments and washy suggestions.

To counter this I proceeded to poll the freshmen of Baker House who were available for a little inquest Monday. I asked two questions: were you traumatized or upset by the experience of freshman shower night, and did the experience infringe upon your work or the exam of the following day?

I was surprised to find that not one person of the 20 questioned found it an upsetting occurrence and no one thought of it as a burden on their studies. Some of the freshmen also made comments to me that they found shower night exciting and enjoyed it greatly. One could say that Bakerites are more tolerant of showering. One might also suggest that during my polling all the traumatized were still in hiding. However, the results of my questionnaire remain a better indicator of what freshmen think of shower night than Wan's column.

Now, I am sure that if I polled everyone on campus I would find people who will not give shower night the two thumbs way up like the freshmen I questioned, but it's rare to find a perfect thing in this world. All we can do is try to seek a balanced and fruitful experience here at MIT.

Padraig G. Moloney '99