MIT Presidential Task Force
on Student Life and Learning

Report of the MIT InterFraternity Council
Committee on R/O Proposals

Fall 1997

Executive Summary

To address a variety of the concerns students, parents, faculty, and administrators have expressed regarding residence selection, orientation, and the "first-year experience", the IFC has compiled the following recommendation package. The highlights of our proposal include:

Section I: Orientation

A. Increase The Scope and Effectiveness of Orientation

  1. "R/O" becomes "Orientation": residence selection will occupy the second and separate portion of a lengthened "MIT Orientation".
  2. Mandatory workshops on diversity, harassment/gender issues, and alcohol awareness to educate freshmen along all lines.
  3. Presentation on MIT's medical and counseling services and other health-related resources available to students.
  4. Create a standing Orientation Advisory Committee comprised of students, faculty, and administrators to provide recommendations to refine Orientation year after year.

B. Promote the Sense of the MIT Community

  1. Alumni Panel to discuss their post-graduation experiences and the benefits of an MIT education.
  2. Student Panel to introduce the commonalities between MIT students: our traditions (e.g., hacks, brass rats, etc.) and common culture (e.g., individual responsibility, devotion to living group, etc.)

C. Increase the Level of Student-Faculty Interactions

  1. Freshman Advising Group/Cluster Dinners during Orientation.
  2. Faculty Panel to stimulate intellectual excitement.
  3. Use Orientation as a springboard for greater student-faculty interaction throughout the academic year.
  4. Promote and revive the living group faculty advisors / House Fellows program.

Section II: Residence

A. Provide More Objective Information to Freshmen and Their Parents

  1. Increase the focus placed on residences in Admissions Office mailings to prospective students regarding Winter/Spring campus visitations.
  2. Revamp RCA summer mailings to include more objective information that parents most commonly request (e.g., house GPA, cost, etc.) and a parental contact name and number for each FSILG.
  3. RCA-sponsored Residence Selection Primer workshop during Orientation.
  4. Residence Midway: an Orientation event structured similar to the Activities Midway.

B. Improve the Residence Selection Experience

  1. Provide more time for freshmen to make residence decisions.
  2. Tone down the intensity of Rush: IFC commitment to evaluate the spending practices on membership recruitment.

C. More Residential Options, Especially For Women

(e.g., co-educational living groups, all-female living groups, and residential sororities).

D. Ensure the Safety of Freshmen Living in Institute-Approved Housing

E. Encourage Diversity in Student Life

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