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Freshmen Express Feelings on Rush

By Sandra Chung


At MIT, the residence selection process has become a unique rite of passage for all incoming freshmen. Among members of the Class of 2005, attitudes toward rush tend to vary quite a bit.

Many freshmen have heard about the rush process from siblings and acquaintances who participated in the past. Stories of lobster and steak, trips to the beach and paintball fields and a myriad of other opportunities for free fun have been floating among new MIT recruits. Nelson Meehan ’05, a freshman from Newport Beach, California, said that he was “expecting to have a good time.”

Reviewing the gamut of MIT housing can be a daunting task. Many students arrive on campus with some idea of what they need or like in a residence, such as the privacy of a single room or the convenience of a kitchen, and most are open-minded about exploring several options. Sinae Vogel ’05 has already moved into McCormick for the dormitory’s residence-based advising program, yet she plans to keep “looking around.” Danos Christodoulou ’05 is still confused about housing, though he arrived on campus last Friday and has already explored many housing options. “I still have no idea where I’m going to live. I’m trying to explore everything. I want to see all of them.”

Temp housing annoys freshmen

Some freshmen expressed annoyance at the hassle of moving from temporary housing to permanent housing assignments. Ashley Rothenberg ’05 said that it would have been easier to have a housing choice process which was separate from orientation.

This event, which would be akin to campus preview weekend, would allow matriculating freshmen to explore and decide on housing well before beginning the laborious task of carting their worldly possessions to MIT. Adam Gibbons ’05 said that lumping housing decisions in with orientation was a little inconvenient.

Many appreciate chance to choose

Despite the hassle of relocating from temp housing, most students still enjoy having the freedom to choose where and with whom they live. Jason Christopher ’05 said that the housing decision is a big deal. “It’s important to like where you’re living,” he said.

John Head ’05 is also likes the current system. “Letting freshman choose their own housing is a sign that the administration cares,” he said.

Mike Matczynski ’05 believes that rush happens too quickly to allow freshmen to make the right choice. He believes that he and his fellow freshman have “just been dropped right into college, and can’t make the best decision possible” with the limited time available.

Housing decisions may be changed

For some people, the housing decision process may actually extend several weeks or months beyond rush. Students can depledge from fraternities and sororities or apply for transfers to different rooms or dorms if they aren’t satisfied with their living situation. Most students eventually end up making the right choice or at least find a place in which they feel comfortable enough that it doesn’t detract from their lives at MIT.