Hall Rituals

Second East's culture is constantly evolving, and so many of our traditions fluctuate with the times. Some active traditions include:

Current Projects

We have a number of projects right now:

Features

The Beast is not without its own features:

History of Second East

People always ask us why we're called "The Beast from the East". These days if you meet residents of 2E you won't find any of them particularly "beastly" at all (except maybe when problem sets are due the next morning). Our nickname is a rather old one with a couple of different stories behind it.

Several Beast Alums stopped by our website and offered different possible versions of the story:

Andy Michael '81: In 1978 we decided the hall intramural teams needed a more imposing name than 2E. Someone suggested the name Beast from the East and a couple of t-shirts were drawn up showing the hand of the Beast tearing the Green Building and the Great Dome apart.... After a short while the name got applied to the hall and not just the teams. The other t-shirt was the word BEAST transliterated into Greek letters because we were told we were acting like the frats we professed to despise. This T-shirt actually seemed to anger some of the frats. This didn't bother us. However, we never had one that showed the entire Beast like the new logo.

Actually, this mural still exists, and has been recently refurbished. "Beast" done up with greek letters has also been brought back to our hall, and is expressed in all our new t-shirt designs.

Tyrome Brown '90: Yes, 2E was the last EC floor to go coed, but the name predates the conversion of 3W which I believe occurred in the late 1980s. When I first moved to 2E (Fall '86), 3W was still all-male. You have to realize that at the time having an all-male living group didn't seem strange. MacGregor was all-male too. Women only made up 10% of the entering class of 1985 (20% in 1986 which made big news around campus).

As to the "Black East" story, I can assure you 2E was never all African-American (not even close - in the early 1970s the number of African-American attending MIT per class year probably numbered around 5 or so). Prior to 1986, 2E basically reflected MIT's demographics. However, in 1985 or 1986, MIT started to house underrepresented minority students (African-Americans and Hispanics) at EC for the Interphase programs during the summer (6 week or 2 week orientation to MIT and Boston). As a result, a disproportionate number ended up staying at 2E (4 to 6 people per year), including myself. Frankly, the number of international students outnumbered any one group.

Roy Brickley '79: As of 1979, The Beast from the East was still all-male, and was not the last all-male floor at that time (or at least it wasn't as of 1976). It was already known as "Beast from the East" before 1979. I believe it was being called that when I arrived in 1975, but my memory of exactly when I first heard it called that is pretty fuzzy.

During those years, The Beast was a mix of jocks and dopeheads (which is why I'm fuzzy on the exact facts...). The "Thursday" rag comic strip often featured a few Beast residents - I recall one was called Ralph, a particularly notorius dealer on East Campus. Residents of 2E were also peripherally involved in the sex scandal that brought down "Thursday". During my years, the floor was not all-black.

We may have originated the Beast moniker, though I doubt it. I know we came up with one of the first T-shirts with the Beast slogan, since I saw one at Fry's in Fremont, California in 2001! If our years originated the Beast name, it may have had something to do with the jocks reputation.

Location of Second East

2E is the second floor of the east parallel of MIT's East Campus dormitory. We're in the long brick building on Ames St. between Building 66 and the tennis courts and across the street from the MIT Media Lab.

We're conveniently close to Kendall Square, the MIT Coop, the Kendall T stop, and branches of both Cambridge Trust and Fleet banks as well as all main campus buildings. See us on the map, we're in Building 64.