Our house culture is constantly evolving, shaped by the interests of whoever happens to be living here at the time. Here are some of our current obsessions:
- Playing board and card games (the likes of Dominion, Terra Mystica, Tichu, and many more)
- Making board games (come and try some of our creations!)
- Music (we have lots of instruments, and we like concerts too)
- Movies (from Pixar and Miyazaki to Coppola and Kurosawa)
- Video games (especially Starcraft, Rock Band, and League of Legends)
- Large group outings (dinner, performances, skating, etc.)
- Nerf/boffer wars
- Square dancing
- Spontaneous silliness
We're socially dry, so no alcohol is served at our parties. However, you can usually expect to find costumes, cake, and/or LARPing.
We also have many traditions, both old and new:
- Not Coffee (a weekly study break with tasty snacks that, in general, are not coffee)
- Thing A Week (a weekly event where we try some new activity as a house; recent events have included orienteering and pumpkin painting)
- Stereo Wars (a contest of loudness before the start of Finals studying)
- Minions of Darkness (play-testing this board game every Monday evening)
- Retreat (an annual weekend trip to New Hampshire to relax and get away from MIT)
We consider ourselves to be a tight-knit community where everyone looks out for each other and takes care of the House as a whole. Come eat one of our home-cooked meals and you'll see why: dinner at ET is a social gathering where people discuss the day's events and engage in lively discussions (both silly and serious). On Saturday nights, local alumni often come to eat dinner and laugh with us.
At the same time, we are very much part of the MIT culture. In recent years, we have had strong house representation in many student groups, such as Live Action Mafia, ESP, the Assassin's Guild, the MIT Mystery Hunt, Tech Squares, SIPB, and SPS.
Our house is located in Brookline, a small suburb of Boston. Our location is a surprisingly effective buffer against the daily pressures of campus and city life. Brookline also offers a degree of safety and security not found in Cambridge or Boston. The Brookline Police Department and MIT Police Department keep crime levels low and can often be seen patrolling the neighborhood. Thetans feel safe walking in the area at any hour.
And wow, is it a nice area for walks! There's a park with a playground across the street, where we often go to get some fresh air. The Halls Pond park has a beautiful walking trail. And there are always more parks to see around Brookline. Some of our members walk or bike to campus daily just for the views.
We have dinner five nights a week (Mon-Thu, Sat) and lunch two days a week (Sat/Sun). Our cook, Karen, has been with us for over 20 years, and has a reputation for diverse, creative meals (from Gator Eggs to Chaos Pie). Vegetarian options are always available, and we're happy to accomodate any dietary restrictions. Thetans are free to munch on leftovers or use the industrial-grade kitchen for their own culinary experiments.
We live roughly 1.3 miles from campus. On weekdays, our 15-passenger van travels between ET and MIT 4 times a day (twice in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening). There are also a few runs on the weekends. In addition, MIT operates a Saferide shuttle in the evenings, which stops at ET (along with many other FSILGs). The journey between MIT and ET is a pleasant 10-minute van ride, 15-minute bike ride or 40-minute walk.
Freshmen are required to live on campus (as per MIT policy). However, they are allowed to spend as much time as they'd like at ET. There are extra beds in case they want to crash at ET overnight. Freshmen are considered full members of the house (they can vote in elections and hold all elected positions at ET), and we don't allow hazing of pledges. Freshmen members move in at the beginning of their sophomore year.
ET has a rush process similar to many other FSILGs. During Rush Week, we hold many fun events (see here for a full schedule), which help us get to know prospective members. During the course of Rush, we invite many participants to consider joining the house.
Those who accept our offer become pledges, which are effectively full members of the house. Our semester-long Pledge Program is designed to introduce them to ET and MIT. This program is mainly aimed towards freshmen, but upperclassmen, graduate students, and students in yearlong exchange programs are also welcome to join ET. We do not discriminate on the basis of major, sleep schedule, or favorite milk type (although fierce debates have raged about the latter...)