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Not Like it Used to Be, but Not Too Bad

I would like to note my wholehearted agreement with Jordan Rubin’s column “Not Like it Used to Be” in The Tech on Aug. 30. Among the chorus of “Back in the day...” stories, it’s good for freshmen (and other newcomers to the Institute) to hear somebody talking about how cool the Institute still is today.

Jeffrey Barrett ’02

[LTE]Freshman Apathy For A Nonexistent Entity[body]

At last year’s Killian Kickoff, the freshman opener to days of dorm and FSILG festivities, several MIT students dressed in black carried a tombstone lamenting the future absence of the very rush activities that were about to commence at that point. I had no idea that the symbolic rush ‘funeral,’ cute as it was to me in those early days, would actually reflect the future state of dorm affairs. So when The Tech’s article [“Freshmen Apathetic About Hall Rush,” Aug. 29] describing freshman apathy towards this year's hall ‘rush’ events, I was reminded of that day at the Kickoff, when upperclassmen advised us to savor our first and last rush.
That’s right: having perished in the worst way possible, rush is dead. Not even disco was brought down by administrative decisions. Detailing the “perception of apathy” among freshmen, the article, too, is nostalgic for a time when steak and lobster dinner was as bountiful as the sea and the Daily Confusion was true to its name. But reading the article was a painful experience. Unfortunately, it is flawed not only in its analysis of freshman “apathy,” but also in expressing the nature of this year's artificial rush.
“Some residents,” generalized the article, seemed to be apathetic in their housing choices. While some residents were indeed apathetic, her statistics were suprisingly weak. Among them, one floor chair noted that he was a “little worried” about freshmen not wanting to leave their rooms, and some even discredited the notion that indifference existed. Alone, these comments are entirely too weak to be conclusive.
However, perhaps we should examine the motives (really, the lack thereof) behind the freshmen in the article. MIT can’t expect freshmen to be ecstatic about something that will ultimately be marginalized as the administration continually undermines the existence of rush-like activities. But beyond all that, you can’t be apathetic towards something that doesn’t exist.
So what is the article trying to prove? Hall rush is only a remnant of the old rush. Of course it's “low-key”; hall rush wasn’t meant to be spectacular, nor will it ever fill the void rush left behind. The article does nothing more but remind me of last year’s final rush when important things like choice and individuality actually made a difference.[sig]