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 games (the likes of Dominion, Terra Mystica, Tichu, and many more)
- Making board games (come and try some of our creations!)
- Music (singing, playing, or listening)
- Movies (from Pixar to Miyazaki)
- Video games (especially Factorio and Rock Band)
- Large group outings (dinner, performances, skating, etc.)
- Debating math, physics, CS, linguistics, philosophy, or logic problems
- Nerf/boffer wars
- Square dancing
- Magic: the Gathering
- Hugs, cuddles, fluffy things, and beanbags
- Spontaneous silliness
We’re alcohol-free in public spaces, so socialization features games and discussions and creative ideas.
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)
- Playtesting an ET-designed board game, Minions of Darkness, every Monday and Thursday evening
- Retreat (an annual weekend trip to New Hampshire to relax and get away from MIT)
- Weekly D&D sessions
- A party each semester with games, crafts, costumes, and food
We’re a tight-knit community where everyone looks out for each other and takes care of the house as a whole. Other people will help with your chores when you’re stressed, take care of you when you’re sick, or just be there to listen. People will generally email the whole house about doing social things, so nobody’s left out and it's easy to make good friends. We accept all kinds of people and are very LGBTQA+ friendly.
We're also very involved in greater MIT culture. Recently we've had strong participation in Live Action Mafia, ESP, the Assassin's Guild, the MIT Mystery Hunt, Tech Squares, SIPB, Effective Altruism, and Centrifugues.
There’s a special kind of community that comes from sitting down to family-style meals together, laughing as we decompress from each day of classes. ET’s mealplan evolves to suit the tastes of our members, but it’s always included in the house bill, and friends / guests / alums are always welcome.
We have dinner five nights a week and lunch on Saturdays. Cooks sign up in pairs to make meals for the house, as part of our house duties system (so no one has to cook if they don’t want to). Vegetarian options are always available, and we're happy to accomodate any dietary restrictions. Leftovers and open food (drinks, milk, cereal, fruit, bread, snacks, or anything else you request) are available to all! Plus, our kitchen is well-stocked for baking or other culinary experiments.
Our house is located in Brookline, a small suburb of Boston. Our location is a buffer against the daily pressures of MIT. 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 live roughly 2 miles from campus. On weekdays, our 15-passenger van travels between ET and MIT four times a day (twice in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening). There are also van 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 (per MIT policy). However, they are allowed to spend as much time as they'd like here, and we don’t charge them rent. They have beds if they want to sleep here. They're full members of the house (they can vote in elections and hold all elected positions at ET). Freshmen officially move in at the beginning of their sophomore year, but many consider themselves practically moved in earlier.
Every member contributes to the house by signing up for a few hours per week of house duties. These can be many things - cooking, washing dishes, vacuuming, driving our van, managing our paperwork, grocery shopping, etc. - so you’ll never have to do anything you really dislike. (True in general, at ET!) If you’re interested in our worksession coordination spreadsheet, we’d love to tell you about how we optimize to match everyone's preferences and make sure nobody feels like they’re getting a bad deal.
ET is cheaper than a dorm: in 2018, the rent is $3440/semester. That covers housing, meal plan, laundry, open food, fall retreat, social events, and almost everything else you can think of. Summer housing (late May - mid August) is charged separately and available to non-members, and ET members get a discount. Freshmen and pledges who are paying rent elsewhere are not charged rent, though they do pay a pledge fee of $75 - which is a pretty good deal for including an unlimited meal plan!
ET has a rush process similar to many other FSILGs. During Rush Week, we hold fun events (see here for a full schedule) to help us get to know prospective members. Throughout Rush, we invite many people to consider joining the house. Undergrads, grads, MEngs, and exchange students are all welcome! See our Live Here! page for more information.