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MIT Living Groups Show Off at Midway

Simmons Starts Recruiting One Year Early; Panhellenic Association Takes More Booths

By Jennifer Krishnan


The last Residence Midway of its kind gave the Class of 2005 a first glimpse at MIT’s large array of living options.

The Midway, which was held last night in Johnson Athletic Center, featured all of MIT’s FSILGs, and every dorm except for Bexley Hall.

“It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s exciting at the same time,” said Isaac B. Taylor ’05.

East Campus’ booth featured a variety of eccentric costumes, and upperclassmen offered freshmen a ride in a dentist’s chair.

Despite this bizarre display, some freshmen were impressed. “I’ve been hearing rumors that EC is pretty weird,” said David C. Wang ’05, “but they seem like pretty cool people.”

Simmons Hall also made an appearance at the Midway, though it is not scheduled to be completed until August 2002. Members of “The Sponge Committee,” a group of students who plan to move to Simmons Hall next year, distributed a pamphlet which described the dorm’s advantages and facilities.

“We have a booth because when the dorm opens, it’s not going to be an all-freshmen dorm, and we want upperclassmen to move in,” said Daniel R. Ramage ’04. Ramage told a freshman that the best thing about Simmons was that “it’s got holes in it.”

Panhel gets more booths

The Panhellenic Association had four booth spaces at this year’s Midway, a significant increase from last year, when the five sororities shared a single booth.

“In the past, [the Residence Midway] has been more useful to guys,” said Panhellenic Vice President of Recruitment Ariya Dararutana ’03. “We’re hoping to have a larger presence this year.”

Mackenzie L. Duelge ’05 said the Midway was male-heavy, “but I don’t really care that much.”

“Tonight is guy-oriented, but I think it will equalize after tomorrow, when the sororities talk to us,” said Lynn K. Kamimoto ’05.

Dararutana said that Panhellenic sororities conduct rush together, in accordance with national Panhellenic regulations. Members will not identify the groups they belong to until after this afternoon’s Women’s Convocation.

“It makes it easier for us,” Dararutana said. “This way, our Rho Chis (Recruitment Counselors) can counsel all women [rushing], and it’s easier for us to deal with inter-sorority disputes.”

Next Midway will take new form

With next year’s overhaul of the entire residence selection process, the current format of the Residence Midway may have to be rethought.

“In our discussions of rush 2002, the current plan is to have a Residence Midway,” said Dormitory Council Rush Chair Jeffrey C. Roberts ’02, “but will dorms participate? We haven’t answered that question yet.”

The current system of combining dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups into one Midway “puts all living groups on an equal footing,” Roberts said.

Interfraternity Council Recruitment Chair Joanne Chang ’03 said the Midway will still exist next year, “but it will be completely different. Students still need to know that there are other options, but they are no longer going to be living options.”

Reactions to Midway vary

The Residence Midway “wasn’t all that useful for me, but it’s handy for people who have no idea where to go,” said Delta Tau Delta President John C. Rondoni ’02.

“It’s pretty overwhelming, but it’s a useful starting place,” said Stephanie A. Claussen ’05.

“It depends on the type of person you are,” said Bryan D. Arbuszewski ’05, who sat at a table in the center of the room, crossing out far-away fraternities. “I’m not one to talk until I know someone.”

“I wasn’t going to join a fraternity,” Wang said, “but now, [after visiting the Midway,] I might rush.”