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Killian Kickoff 1999

By Frank Dabek

Under clear skies freshmen gathered at Killian Court yesterday afternoon to officially begin the residence selection process.

This year’s Killian Kickoff was governed by regulations similar to the relaxed rules instituted last year. Upperclassmen, from dormitories and FSILGs, were allowed to mingle with freshmen before the official start of rush.

Following the freshmen picture Stephen D. Immerman, director of project development in the office of the executive vice president, delivered the keynote address, reassuring freshmen that they would be able to find a suitable living group during the brief rush period.

Upperclassmen will be “working pretty darn hard to make you feel welcome,” Immerman said. “Besides, they’ll feed you.”

Immerman told freshmen that rush was a metaphor for MIT life -- students often must make a decision with too little time and information.

“Think consciously about what you want and need” and “pay attention to how you feel” about your decisions, he advised. “If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right.”

Mingling follows speech

After Immerman’s speech upperclassmen were allowed into the court to mingle with freshmen.

Upperclassmen were not allowed to display letters or erect signs during this period. “Do not pay attention to the frat boys behind the curtain,” Jay Potthurst ’03 said of the upperclassmen gathered at the southern end of the Court waiting for the start of rush.

The expansion of Campus Preview Weekend to include all students last year means that Killian Kickoff was not the first exposure to residences for many freshmen. Freshmen said that CPW was helpful but not decisive in making residence decisions.

Katherine Jenkins ’03 said that “a lot of freshmen really hated where they lived” and eliminated that choice. “Everything else is left over,” however.

CPW was more helpful for Ken Terao ’03, who said that the type of parties that houses threw over CPW helped him to determine their personalities. He has narrowed his choice down to three or four living options but “didn’t want to limit” himself during rush.

IFC Rush Chair Ranjit S. Survanshi ’00 said that CPW likely only provided useful information about one residence: the living group which hosted the freshman.

Speeches precede rush

Following the mingling, Dormcon President Jennifer A. Frank ’00 addressed the new class. Frank encouraged freshmen to take advantage of the “awesome responsibility” given them to visit a few FSILGs but not to forget the dormitory system.

Sarah G. Gensheimer ’00, president of the women’s conference, spoke briefly to encourage women to attend the women’s convocation immediately following the kickoff.

Ranjit S. Survanshi ’00, Interfraternity Council Rush Chair, told freshmen that “residence selection is a misnomer... focus on the people, not the place.” Survanshi closed his speech with the traditional call to “let the rush begin.”

Groups were then free to approach freshmen in full lettered regalia and to erect signs on the southern border of the Court.