Students Make Rush CD-ROM

By Siobhan Walsh

In the hope of giving incoming students more information about the Institute’s residence system, students entering MIT’s Class of 2005 will receive a CD-ROM this summer.

Incoming freshmen choose temporary housing before arriving at MIT, based on the information provided to them.

Dormitory Council President Jeffrey C. Roberts ’02 explained that the idea is to give freshmen a virtual tour of dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups. According to Roberts, incoming freshmen will be, in essence, “surfing through living groups” and thereby be able to make more educated decisions about their temporary housing assignments.

An Interactive Introduction to the Institute, or I-3, began about a year ago when student leaders began to plan for the changes that will be implemented to rush in 2002.

Since the Chancellor’s Report provides freshmen in the Class of 2006 with the option of squatting in the temporary housing assignments they choose over the summer, student leaders wanted to create a multimedia presentation that captured the personalities of the individual dormitories and FSILGs in a way that a piece of paper could not. The result was I-3, which allows dormitories and FSILGs to make a short video segment highlighting the important aspects of their individual groups.

Although several dormitories and FSILGs have begun working on the project, no one has yet completed a video. However, planners hope that a prototype version of the CD-ROM will be distributed to freshmen this summer.

MIT, students contribute to CD

The project’s principal coordinator, Vikash Gilja ’03, said that there will be several different components to the CD-ROM. In addition to the videos produced by the individual living groups, the CD-ROM will contain a welcome video from MIT and a basic overview of the orientation process.

Moreover, students with Internet connections can use a “chat client” component that will connect them with other freshmen and a select number of upperclassmen.

Since the changes in rush taking effect in 2002 will be new to upperclassmen and freshmen alike, Gilja described the video as “a crutch that will help freshmen through the new orientation process.”

Gilja believes that the CD-ROM will ultimately provide a comprehensive introduction to MIT and include information about the various academic departments, pre-orientation programs and the residence system.

UA to review CD-ROM’s impact

The Undergraduate Association Committee on Housing and Orientation hopes to assess the effect of I-3 on students’ residence and rush decisions, and ultimately use the information to gain insight into planning for the rush changes in 2002.

Meanwhile, Roberts confirmed that no changes to next year’s rush process will be imposed by MIT. Any and all changes will be volunteered by students, he said, but at this point, no new rush rules have been established.

This fall will, however, mark the last year of Killian Kickoff and the famous summons to “Let the Rush Begin.” Roberts believes, however, that the “perception amongst students that it [rush] is over” is misguided.