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Dormitory Rush Events Display Unique Culture

By Dana Levine


Dormitory rush, which started yesterday afternoon, consists of a series of events in which MIT’s dorms introduce freshmen to their living style and culture.

This year, East Campus embarked upon a communist-flavored East vs. West campaign. Yesterday, freshmen and EC residents enjoyed rickshaw rides and had a chance to paint graffiti on the Berlin Wall.

Today, EC will hold a carnival with such attractions as a dunk tank and moon bounce. Tonight’s entertainment will consist of several cold war-related movies, and Monday night will feature a jazz concert.

“We are East Campus. We often have to do battle with west campus to get freshmen to notice us,” said East Campus rush chair Sarah A. Martinez ’02.

On the other side of campus, Baker House has planned a very different series of events. Their rush features two barbeques, several movies, and a casino night.

Although the method by which dormitories attract freshmen is often referred to as rush, there are many significant differences between this process and the rush conducted by fraternities.

Dormitories do not use the period to actively recruit and admit new members, but use it instead to give freshmen a sample of their living group culture.

“There is absolutely no active recruitment for Baker. It is a chance for them to find out who we are and what we like to do,” said Baker rush chair Andrew T. Singleton ’02.

While fraternities require all members to participate in their new member recruitment process, dormitories draw their rush staff from a pool of volunteers.

“For frats it’s taken very seriously. For dorms it’s more of a fun activity for everyone to pitch in on,” said Dormitory Council president Jeffrey C. Roberts ’02.

“It gets stressful for some people, but most people do have fun,” said Baker resident Joel Torres ’01.

Singleton said that Baker usually plan fun events for both freshmen and upperclassmen to enjoy. “I would hope that all the rush workers in Baker have fun. It’s still summer. It’s right before school. I know that we plan events that we like to do,” he said.

Saturday turnout usually low

Dormitory rush workers noted that there is often low attendance at Saturday events. “It seems a little slow on the dorm side so far,” Roberts said.

However, Martinez said that EC residents have been giving “loads of tours.”

“I’ve been told that the first day is always a slow one. For a first day, today was really terribly good,” she said.

Singleton said that many people tend to use the first day of orientation to visit fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups. “I know that a few of them have been exploring Boston and the dorms [during orientation],” Singleton said.

However, he does hope “that everyone who plans to be part of the housing lottery gets out and sees a lot of the dorms” during Rush.