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Elsewhere in Limbo

By Frank Dabek
EDITOR IN CHIEF

This year’s Orientation may be without an Elsewhere due to staffing problems.

Elsewhere, a daily event designed to provide freshmen a place to escape the hectic pace of rush, was not sponsored by the Orientation Committee for the first time in several years.

Catherine M. Coury G, who volunteered to organize the Elsewhere this year, said that it “is happening contingent on getting enough people to staff it.” Coury nearly cancelled the event when she failed to find 15 staffers by Sunday.

Christopher D. Beland ’00, a member of the Orientation Committee, said that the committee chose not to assist with Elsewhere this year after a survey administered by the Planning Office revealed that the event’s “participation rate and satisfaction rate were... just below the threshold” for an event to be considered viable.

Director of Orientation Elizabeth Cogliano Young chose to cancel the event based on the results of the survey, Beland said. Elsewhere “didn’t have critical mass to be a good event,” he said.

The “main help that [the Orientation committee] provided was workers,” Coury said.

According to Beland, the Orientation committee attempted to recruit workers for Elsewhere but had difficulty since they couldn’t give volunteers credit for hours worked at Elsewhere as it was not an official event. Each Orientation worker must work a specified number of hours to earn the early housing return granted by the Institute.

Elsewhere recruits some workers

As of Wednesday afternoon Coury had managed to recruit 15 staffers and is “hoping to pull it off at this point.” However, she said that she wants to be sure “to do a reasonable job” of hosting the event.

The hours that Elsewhere will be open have already been reduced from 24 hours a day to noon to midnight from Saturday to Monday and to noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Elsewhere is currently scheduled to be held in the reading room on the fifth floor of the Student Center.

Because “rush is a really intense period of time... it’s really nice to go somewhere where you can relax [and where] people won’t talk to you about rush,” Coury said.

Anyone wishing to help with Elsewhere should contact Coury at cmcoury@mit.edu.