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Fall Festival Funding Increases

Student Life Office Donates more than $100,000 to the Festivities

By Brian Loux


Preparations are complete for one of the largest Fall Festivals in MIT history, which begins this evening.

This Fall Festival received significant funding from the office of Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict.

“Dean Benedict and other administrators gave us a lot, though none more than Benedict,” said Nadjia M. Yousif ’04, Social Chair for the Class of 2004. “People are trying to make Fall Festival as big as Spring Weekend. The Residential Life and Student Life Programs office and our committee wanted this to be big, which was why they gave so much.”

Benedict funds Fall Festival

Benedict said that his department donated $100,000 to Fall Festival and other special activities around campus. Benedict said that this fall’s event is larger because of the efforts of people like Fall Festival committee chair Bryan D. Schmid ’03 and Interfraternity Council President Rory P. Pheiffer ’02, who began working on this event last spring. “They and others have been actively fundraising and have been very successful,” he said.

Tracy F. Purinton, Assistant Dean for Student Activities, and Linda D. Noel, Program Coordinator for Student Activities, also helped to coordinate the weekend’s activities.

Events may rival Spring Weekend

Organizers hope that this Fall Festival will be equal in magnitude to Spring Weekend. “I plan to ask for this and even more to be permanent additions since I am convinced that student groups and activities need more funding than they are currently receiving,” Benedict said.

“We also hope that students will be interested in planning more large events at MIT because of this year’s festival,” said Sudeb C. Dalai ’02, the Class Council President for the Senior Class.

With the traditional Festival fare such as activities on Kresge Oval and Sigma Kappa’s Late Night, a free concert has been added to this year’s lineup.

The idea for a concert was spurred by the Class of 2002 almost half a year ago. “We were inspired last year by the Naughty by Nature Concert for Humanity and its ability to raise so much money for charity,” Dalai said. “We began planning a concert for the fall, but we later converged with Bryan Schmid on the idea of a concert for Fall Festival. We started fundraising much like [Habitat for Humanity] did with the Naughty by Nature concert, and we had a lot of help from the administration.”

The entire plan for Friday’s concert changed after September 11. The line up was originally expected to draw headliners such as Wyclef Jean and Eve, but with the threat of terrorism looming, artists became reluctant to perform in cities. The council was able to nab two local bands, Missing Joe and One People, made the concert a free event, and changed the venue to La Sala de Puerto Rico in the Student Center. “We decided that it would be better to assist the [New York firemen] relief efforts,” Dalai said. “We are raising money for a good cause that is of immediate need.”

The 2004 Class Council had originally intended to plan its own events, but decided to team up with the Fall Festival committee. “We were originally planning a pregame tailgate party before the homecoming game,” Yousif said, “but we realized it would be easier if we joined with Fall Festival. The class donated money to the fund, which then gave us access to larger funding for our planned events.” The Class of 2004 worked with MacGregor House and Delta Tau Delta to create Saturday’s Oktoberfest festivities.

Sigma Kappa’s late night has not been affected by the other events. The comedic talent show is still run solely by the sorority, and the proceeds will be donated to Alzheimer’s research.

Weekend features football game

This weekend also marks the homecoming football game. MIT’s Engineers hope to turn their season around with their first conference win this Saturday at the homecoming game. MIT, now 1-5 for the season, has not yet been able to capitalize on a promising win early in the season against Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

“Offensively we must control the ball and decrease our own mistakes,” said Coach Dwight E. Smith, commenting on his plans for this weekend’s game. This week the Engineers face a strong Nichols College team with a record of 3-2. Nichols remains undefeated in the New England Football Conference.

“The key to stopping their offense is to contain their All Conference QB,” said Coach Smith. “Last year we beat Nichols keeping them out of the Championship game. They will be looking to keep their record perfect in the division and we will be looking to spoil their chances.”

The game will begin at 1:30 Saturday in Steinbrenner Stadium.