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ILGs Garner New Residents with IAP Rush

By Jia Xing

Five of MIT’s Independent Living Groups (ILGs) held rush during the Independent Activities Period, from Jan. 17 to 26. The sixth, WILG, started rush on Feb. 10 and will continue until Feb. 22.

“A significant number of freshmen did not consider rushing because they received their first choice during Fall term lottery and didn’t dislike their living situation after the first term,” said Tau Epsilon Phi Rush Chair Jonathan R. Barchi ’04.

“I feel that many people haven’t been educated in their living groups,” Barchi said. In the future, he wishes to “learn to tailor prospective members to come over and explore the house.”

ILG rush a mixed bag

Student House received five new members during IAP rush. “A lot of our recruitment is done throughout the year, by word of mouth, and often starts with people coming around for dinner,” said Student House President Taylor K. Hayden ’04.

Epsilon Theta, a coed fraternity, publicized rush events through both the Living Group Council (LGC) and their Web site, but received no new members during IAP rush. They received five members during Fall rush.

Laura Cerritelli ’03, rush chair for Epsilon Theta, said that rush did not go as well as it has in the past. “During the fall, people have the feeling that you’re supposed to look at places,” but that feeling often doesn’t carry over to IAP or Spring term, she said.

Fenway House holds MIT’s only “open bid” system, in which any undergraduate or graduate student at MIT can live there, space provided. Fenway also did not receive any new members from IAP.

TEP received two new pledges over IAP. During the fall, TEP received four freshmen and one junior. Barchi called IAP rush “very successful.”

Pika, a coed cooperative, held a number of informal rush events. Pika Rush Chair Teresa K. Yamana ’04 commented that “turnout was not so good,” and that they have “one person very interested in the house as a result of IAP rush.”

“Despite the changes in the rush policy, I think that Pika has managed to adapt very well,” Yamana said. During fall rush, Pika received three new pledges.

“I feel really good about the relationship we have with our freshmen. Most of our frosh spend a good amount of time at Pika,” Yamana said. “The long period of time between when bids are given and when the time comes that they ultimately decide whether or not to move in gives the freshmen a lot of time to really get to know the house and feel confident in their decisions,” she said.

WILG rush ongoing

The Women’s Independent Living Group (WILG) is currently rushing new members for the Spring term, with events like chocolate buffets, Dim Sum, movie nights, and free cookies.

MIT’s six ILGs, established in the early 1970’s, are an alternative to the residential halls, 27 fraternities, and five sororities. Most of the houses hold open events throughout the year, and some receive members year round.