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Dormcon Authors Orientation Schedule Proposal

By Keith J. Winstein

NEWS AND FEATURES DIRECTOR

The Dormitory Council has proposed a schedule for Orientation 2003, featuring the return of Killian Kickoff and more than two days of dormitory rush.

The proposal was issued yesterday and has been endorsed by the Undergraduate Association’s Committee on Housing and Orientation.

The schedule’s principal accomplishment, its drafters say, is in demonstrating how to squeeze in orientation programs -- such as a parent orientation coincident with freshman arrival, and a string of official orientation-week activities from welcome dinners to advanced placement exams -- alongside blocks of time set aside for dormitory rush.

The proposed schedule “has gotten positive reviews from both students and administrators,” said Ross E. Benson ’03 of the Dormitory Council, who helped draft the proposal.

Benson emphasized that Dormcon’s interest is in demonstrating the possibility of a schedule that satisfies both students and administrators, and that Dormcon is willing to compromise on the particular details of the proposal.

Larry G. Benedict, the dean for student life, is expected to decide on a schedule for orientation by March. He did not return a request for comment.

ILTFP holds tool-in for dorm rush

The proposal is also supported by a newly-reconstituted ILTFP, or “I Love This Place,” a student group last active in 1999 that describes itself as “concerned that recent administrative policies are endangering the aspects of MIT that we consider special, unique, and desirable.”

About 50 students from the group sat and studied at a Lobby 10 “tool-in” yesterday “to ensure that some sort of dorm residence selection occurs during Orientation,” said Christopher P. Possinger ’05, who spearheaded the drive to resurrect ILTFP.

Members of the group said they were alarmed that dormitory rush, already severely curtailed last year, would continue to decline in prominence as more freshmen keep their housing choices made over the summer -- an option known as “dorm squatting,” first made available last year and taken by more than 80 percent of eligible freshmen.

“I would like to see rush go better for future generations, because it was crappy for mine,” said Darlene E. Ferranti ’06. “We’re in support of a dorm rush during orientation.”

“The residence system is one of the best things about MIT, and we don’t want to see it deteriorate,” said Jacob W. Faber ’04.

ILTFP is collecting signatures on a petition in support of dormitory rush. More than 600 students signed the petition yesterday in Lobby 10, said Grace E. Kenney ’05.

A similar petition from Dormcon garnered about 500 signatures last November, but was never presented to anyone. “The difference is, we actually intend to turn in this petition,” Kenney said.

IFC rush scheduled for Sept. 5

The proposed schedule for dormitory rush comes on the heels of a decision to move fraternity rush, separated from dormitory rush for the first time last year, earlier in the year.

The Interfraternity Council “has been working with the administration to get the dates for fall’s rush moved more towards the beginning of the term,” IFC President Lawrence W. Colagiovanni ’04 wrote in an e-mail to fraternity presidents this week.

Fraternity rush will run from Sept. 5 through Sept. 12, 2003, Colagiovanni wrote. Last year, fraternity rush did not start until Sept. 20.