Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
Single rooms, an artistic tradition and a well-planned, well-executed Rush strategy resulted in 18 freshmen and one upperclass student choosing to live in Alpha Delta Phi, far exceeding the fraternity's goal and requiring the conversion of some common space to living quarters.
Proximity to the campus, a jacuzzi, Ethernet connections in every room, a 60-inch TV and satellite dish and a talented chef didn't hurt, either.
ADP, at 351 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, was the most popular FSILG among members of the class of 2002.
"We budgeted for 11, which was conservative, and we figured we could handle 16 comfortably," said senior Forrester Liddle, the chapter president. "We're ecstatic to have the problem of figuring out where to put people."
The five-story house will be home for 61 undergraduates this semester. The $2,760 house bills are projected to yield a surplus of $38,000, some of which will be used to buy new furniture and defray the increased cost of food, and some of which will be set aside to make up a deficit if a future rush falls short of expectations. Mr. Liddle said house bill discounts are possible in the second semester.
Freshmen with a literary bent were attracted by the fraternity's annual Henry Leeb memorial writing contest and monthly poetry readings. The grand piano was a lure for musicians.
A steady flow of visitors starting on the first day of Rush resulted in more than 30 prospective members attending a picnic at Hopkinton State Park on Monday, Aug. 31. The chapter invited 24 to join and had 16 acceptances by Tuesday evening. The other three signed on the next day.
"We're all very psyched," said Mr. Liddle. "We're going to have a terrific year."
Rush totals for each FSILG (with non-resident pledges in parentheses) follow:
Alpha Chi Omega (31); Alpha Delta Phi, 19; Alpha Epsilon Pi (seven); Alpha Epsilon Pi, nine; Alpha Phi, nine (28); Alpha Tau Omega, 12; Beta Theta Pi, 10; Chi Phi, 14; Delta Kappa Epsilon, nine; Delta Tau Delta, nine; Delta Upsilon, eight; Epsilon Theta, four; Fenway, one; Kappa Alpha Theta (29); Kappa Sigma, 10; Lambda Chi Alpha, 16; Nu Delta, seven; Number 6 Club, eight (one); Phi Beta Epsilon, 11; Phi Delta Theta, 13; Phi Kappa Sigma, nine; Phi Kappa Theta, five; Phi Sigma Kappa, 13; Pi Lambda Phi, five; pika, 11; Sigma Chi, eight; Sigma Kappa, two (20); Sigma Nu, 10; Sigma Phi Epsilon, seven (one); Student House, eight; Tau Epsilon Phi, six; Theta Chi, nine; Theta Delta Chi, 13; Theta Xi, nine; Women's Independent Living Group, six; Zeta Beta Tau, 14; Zeta Psi, 12.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 16, 1998.