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REX Introduces Frosh to Dorms Events End When the Housing Adjustment Lottery Closes Tomorrow

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: CityDays was held on a Monday last year to avoid schedule conflicts during Labor Day weekend, but CityDays has traditionally been held on a Friday.

By Harsha Wasalathanthri

With exams, problem sets, and essays aplenty in the coming fall, where they live at MIT is an important decision that incoming freshmen have to make. Residential Exploration (REX) is giving freshmen the opportunity to explore the 11 undergraduate dormitories.

REX events kicked off Friday with almost every dormitory organizing activities to welcome incoming freshmen. Activities, including everything from free food events to hair-dying to lessons in basic electronics assembly to medieval warfare, end on Tuesday with the closing of the Housing Adjustment Lottery at 6:30 p.m.

REX is also “a time for freshmen to meet other freshmen and upperclassmen who will help them through their first year,” REX Chair Sarah C. Hopp ’08 said in an e-mail.

Most REX events are clustered around two main days, yesterday and today, with freshmen given the entirety of those days to explore their dormitories, Hopp said. This is similar to the way REX was structured last year. In years prior, REX was limited to a few hours each day.

This year, “the main change is that instead of two big parties for the East and West dorms, there will be four parties,” Hopp said. “Random Hall and Simmons are geographically isolated from other dorms. This change will allow them to present their dorm culture without any travel.”

Dormitory Council (Dormcon) hopes that this year’s REX will be even more successful than last year when many freshmen entered the adjustment lottery. Last year, about 16 percent of the Class of 2009 requested to move out of their temporary dormitory assignments in the adjustment lottery, as previously reported in The Tech.

“We hope that freshmen will find the dorm that best suits them instead of staying in a dorm which is good enough just because it is convenient to remain there,” Hopp said.

According to Hopp, this year’s orientation and REX activities are scheduled better than last year, “thanks to advance communication between the Academic Resource Center and Dormcon.”

One change was having CityDays on Friday this year instead of early in the week as it has been scheduled in the past. The change was made because CityDays conflicted with REX events.

“As a result, freshmen will not have scheduling conflicts to impede their dormitory exploration,” REX Assistant Chair Allison M. Jacobs ’08 said.