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Special Interest Groups

The MIT Assassins’ Guild

The MIT Assassins’ Guild is MIT’s live-action role-playing (LARP) group. Our members play in and run games about every other weekend during term. In addition, our members run non-LARP games, such as Patrol (a weekly high-action game similar to paintball) and SIK (Society for Interactive Killing) games, which are high-action and bear some resemblance to paintball and nerf-wars, but with more of a scenario than Patrol.

The Guild is running two games in September. Join aliens, smugglers, and Sith at the Mos Eisley Cantina in “Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy”, a one-night Star Wars game. Be a pirate, traveler, or tavern denizen in “The Pirates of Dark Water,” a 1-night game set in the universe of the early 90’s cartoon show of the same name.

Currently the Guild has about 80 active members, drawing from undergraduates, grad students, alumni and other community members. Members can play in as few or as many games as they want, and are free to write games or not as they desire. The Assassins’ Guild has regular meetings once per term to deal with administrative details. Feel free to contact us <> with any questions and check out our web page at <>.

MIT / Draper Lab Bridge Club

MIT/DL Bridge Club invites new and returning students to its weekly duplicate games. Games start at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday nights and normally last until 9:30 p.m. For those interested in learning bridge, the club offers a free bridge class during IAP.

The club welcomes players of all levels, with or without a partner. If you come without a partner, the director will find one for you. Approximately once a month the club runs a game with handicaps, designed to equalize everyone’s chance to win.

The club averages 14 tables per session. The format of the games is duplicate. In duplicate games, everyone plays the same hands, and your score is based on how well you do versus other people holding the same hands. To learn more about the club, visit our website <> or contact Brian Lee at <>.

Mars Society

The International Mars Society is a relatively new organization whose purpose is to advocate and develop the technology required for the manned exploration of Mars. We have recently built a Mars analog base in the Canadian Arctic (you may have seen the special on the Discovery Channel) and are developing a series of analog bases around the world. We are also funding a microscope that will fly on the European ‘Mars Express’ mission.

Here at MIT we have two exciting projects that will be starting this year: we will be building an analog Mars rover based on a modified HumVee Chassis and we will be developing a closed cycle methane engine. We are also holding a short conference, MarsWeek@MIT, in October at which a number of famous scientists, engineers and astronauts will be speaking and publish a newsletter that is distributed to local elementary and high schools.

We hold general meetings and present speakers on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month respectively and hold project-specific meetings as the need arises. If you would like more information, please send an e-mail to <> or look at <>.

MITGaard (Society of Creative Anachronism)

We are a historical social group, which recreates the arts and skills of pre-seventeenth century European culture. Some members become very skilled in their areas of interest, but you do not need to know anything about the Middle Ages to join. We are participation oriented, preferring to act out the best of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance for the enjoyment of ourselves, not generally for observers.

In our society, you will see a number of different medieval activities being re-enacted: fencing, fighting, dancing, sewing, leatherwork, woodwork, metal work, thrown weapons, singing, music, and many more. MITGaard was founded in the early 80s, and has been a strong participant in greater Boston SCA ever since. We welcome all members of the MIT community, and currently have about ten undergraduate, ten graduate students and twelve recent and not so recent alumni active, with about an equal ratio of ladies to lords.

Anyone having any interest should show up to our first meeting of the year, Wednesday, September 6th in PDR3 of the Student Center (W20), from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Chain mail links and instructions will be provided free for those with a burning desire to make their own chainmail jewelry or armor. Questions should be directed to <>. Visit <>.

Model United Nations

Reestablished only three years ago, MITMUN has already made its presence known on the MIT campus. Talks by head of the humanities department, members of the office of the President, and UN Ambassadors to India have graced our meetings with their inspirational and intriguing speeches. Winning awards at Cambridge University, University of Pennsylvania, McGill University, and Harvard University, our fledgling organization has developed an aura felt at conference after conference after conference.

Our two meetings per month allow you the opportunity to be exposed to various political and international issues, either through fellow members of MITMUN or through guest speakers that we often have. Twice during the fall term, once during IAP, and twice again during the spring term, we travel to places as close as Harvard and as far away as Istanbul, Turkey to attend conferences of MUN mock sessions of the real United Nations. As a delegate at these conferences you embody not only the country you represent, but also MIT with every speech you give, every amendment you sign, and every delegate’s hand that you shake. You are Ecuador. You are Bosnia. You are India.

The MIT Outing Club

If you like doing things in the outdoors, this is the club for you. We are a club with about 400 or so members; although not all active at the same time!! We have a wide variety of members, undergrads, grads, alums, staff, and other people part of the grand MIT Community, Wellesley, Lincoln and Draper Labs. We have been around since 1935.

MITOC organizes a couple of large trips during the year. Most of these are circi and events with other outing clubs in the area. Circi are big outings to one of our two cabins in New Hampshire, were the club organizes and leads different kinds of trips for all skill levels. We also participate in some trips with other outing clubs, most notably the Fall Lake George trip to upstate New York.

The club has a wide assortment of gear available for rentals to realize any trip the club or you have in mind. All you need to rent gear is to become a club member (small fee) and leave a deposit check for the gear you use. We also have two cabins in New Hampshire (one near Plymouth and another near North Conway) that serve at basecamps for many activities.

We will have a booth at Activities Midway where you can get more information. We have a couple of trips already scheduled like Intro Circus on the September 9th weekend; Fall Lake George on the October 1st weekend; and tentatively Fall Circus on Columbus day weekend. You can get more information by visiting our website: <> Our office is located in the student center (W20-461); we have weekly office hours on Monday 5-6 p.m. and Thursdays 8-9 p.m. You also send your questions or thoughts to <>.

Parliamentary Debate Team

The MIT Parliamentary Debate team travels to universities and colleges around the east coast competing in tournaments organized by the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA). The Parliamentary style consists of two-on-two extemporaneous debate, where the topic changes in every round of competition. In December, we host our own tournament usually drawing 50-60 teams, and invite members of the MIT community to judge and watch. Our season lasts all year long.

The commitment level is very flexible; every team member decides for themselves how much time to put in. Many of our members choose to attend our weekly meetings and participate in regular practice rounds. Our most committed members try to go to as many tournaments as they can (there is generally one held every weekend of the school calendar), but some of our more casual members may only attend one or two tournaments and spend just 2-3 hours a week on debate.

No prior experience is necessary. Our membership is composed of both people who have been very successful in high school debate and people who have not debated before. We currently have about 50 members. MIT Debate Team, <>, no phone number now, e-mail: <> First Meeting: Monday, September 4, 8 p.m., 4-270. Come eat our free food and find out about going on our all expense paid trip to New York City!

Solar Electric Vehicle Team

The Solar Electric Vehicle Team (SEVT) designs, builds and races solar powered cars--cars that look like UFO’s and travel on the highway using less power than a hair-drier. The team’s most recent car, Manta GTX, won 1st place in the cut-out class at the 1999 Australian World Solar Challenge. Join us now in preparation for the American Solar Challenge, a race stretching nearly 2400 miles from Chicago to LA along Route 66, in July 2001.

The team generally consists of about 10 dedicated undergraduate students from all majors. Working within a student run team, SEVT provides the opportunity to be creative and gain hands-on experience with space frame manufacture, composites, electronic systems, race logistics, and fundraising.

Experience is not necessary, only the desire to learn and willingness to be challenged. Our first meeting for the term will be on Monday, September 11, 2000 at 6 p.m. in room 1-277. For more information visit <>, e-mail <> or call 253-6140.

Student Cable Group

The MIT Student Cable Group is a growing organization of students producing a wide range of television programming and video media production for the MIT community. Students play every role in production: camera work, directing, writing, acting, editing, and even repair work. Our programming includes talk shows, student movies, comedy, theatrical presentations, web-streamed shorts, and ideas that new people bring to us every week.

We’re best known for bringing web-based video-on-demand (called “the Button(tm)”) to MIT. And, of course, we make the only programs on television about MIT. We are your ultimate channel.

We hold meetings on the first Saturday of each month at 2 p.m. in Room 9-034 (except in September and February, when meetings are held on the second Saturday). A schedule of taping sessions and other meetings is posted outside the studio, Room 9-034, and new members are welcome to attend.

The station phone is (617) 252-1694 and can be reached on campus by dialing x2-1694. If no one is there, it will forward to the phone of one of the officers. Reach us by e-mail at <>. There is all sorts of fun stuff on our website at <>.

Student Information Processing Board

The Student Information Processing Board is a volunteer student group that centers around computing at MIT. The SIPB provides a number of computer services to the MIT community. These range from helping users with walk-in or over-the-phone questions to maintaining a number of servers of use to the community. For example, we maintain a web server <>, a Usenet news server <>, and an AFS cell (/afs/ The SIPB also maintains and develops Athena software for Linux and NetBSD, free operating systems that can be run on personal computers.

The SIPB is also an excellent place to learn more about computers. SIPB members tend to be most skilled with UNIX-like operating systems and are always ready to teach those interested in learning. We have a library of useful books, available to anyone interested in taking a look.

The SIPB office, in W20-557, is next to the Athena Cluster on the fifth floor of the Student Center and is the place where most of the SIPB’s activities are based. SIPB meetings are held every Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the SIPB office (W20-557). Feel free to stop by then or any time if you’re interested in finding out more about what we do. You can also reach us by calling 253-7788, or sending mail to <>.


WMBR is MIT’s college radio station and can be heard throughout Cambridge and Boston at the far left end of the radio dial (88.1 FM). The station broadcasts roughly 20-24 hours each day, and plays everything from techno, rock, and classical to jazz, world, R&B, and local music.

Originally using the call letters WTBS, the station first began broadcasting on 88.1 FM in the early 60’s. In the late 70’s, Ted Turner decided he wanted the WTBS call letters for his cable network. The station agreed to give him the call letters and he agreed not to have anyone’s legs broken. He also “donated” money to the station, which had changed it’s call letters to WMBR (Walker Memorial Basement Radio). This money allowed for the construction of a new transmitter, and the station now puts out 720 Watts from the top of the Eastgate Building at MIT. WMBR also now broadcasts over the web at <>.

Roughly half of the station’s DJs are students, and the other half are members of the Cambridge and Boston community. Most DJs engineer their own shows, and are completely trained to run the station by other station members. Shows usually are two hours long and air once a week. All station members are volunteers and contribute about 2 hours/week to the station to keep it running. No prior radio or music experience is required to become a station member.

If you are interested in becoming a DJ at the station, e-mail the membership director at: <>. Additional information about the station can be found on the web at <>. Rock on.