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MedComm Resolves Rules Disputes During Orientation

By Karen Robinson

During Orientation, all living groups are governed by a set of regulations known collectively as rush rules. The often complex rules must apply to both FSILGs and dormitories, and the opposing interests of the two groups is an annual source of conflict.

This year a combination of judicial committees from the Dormitory Council and the Interfraternity Council met during the summer to address any problems that could arise during rush, said DormCon president Jennifer A. Frank ’00. This group, called the Mediation Committee, was formed before last year’s residence midway. MedComm consists of three officers from DormCon and three officers from the IFC: president, rush chair, and JudComm chair.

“This year, we have been adhering to IFC rules” for some events, such as for Killian Kickoff and the Residence Midway, Frank said.

Before Killian Kickoff, neither dormitory residents nor FSILG members were allowed to volunteer freshmen information about where they lived, but both DormCon and the IFC allowed members to answer direct questions from freshmen.

Residence midway

At the residence midway last year, the IFC had a rule that no display could exceed eight feet in height. DormCon, however, did not have this rule, and many dorms did not heed the IFC’s requests that they take down tall displays. This year MedComm agreed that both groups would abide by this limit.

Other rules this year concerned how many living group members could be present at any given booth, and what could be at the booths, said Dan G. Collarini ’99, DormCon JudComm chair. No food or electronics were permitted, for example, “because we didn’t want people to choose where to live based on the entertainment,” Collarini said.

Killian kickoff

New rules for Killian Kickoff this year -- mainly the “minglers” stationed in buildings three and four -- made this year’s Killian Kickoff much more relaxed, said DormCon Rush Chair Gabriel M. Rockefeller ’00.

Each dorm or FSILG was allowed to bring 16 people to mingle with the freshmen and as many people as they wanted to carry the one living group sign. The minglers were split into two groups: one to enter Killian from building 3 and one to enter from building 4; minglers were then split into pairs to enter Killian Court.

Minglers then sat with freshmen in Killian Court to listen to rush speeches. Only when IFC Rush Chair Ranjit S. Survanshi ’00 said, “let the rush begin” could they display living group freshmen and initiate conversations with freshmen about living arrangements.

Sorority rules

Some of the strictest rules on campus are those followed by sorority members.

According to Jenny Jaung ’00, this year’s Panhel Rush Chair, many rules are determined by the National Panhellenic Council. The speaking rules are specific to MIT, however, because of “our Panhel situation,” Jaung said. Sisters may begin speaking openly to freshmen outside of formal rushing hours beginning September 1st at 3 p.m., Jaung said.

“Not all the sororities have houses here [at MIT],” Jong said, “so we try to make it as fair as possible.” Freshmen are allowed to choose to visit the houses on a designated day, but most rushing is done in the Student Center, she said.

Before Killian Kickoff rushing was prohibited, by both the IFC and DormCon. Upperclassmen were permitted to answer if asked by a freshman which dorm they lived in or whether they liked it, but were not allowed to volunteer this information.