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[salon] Salon Discussion, December 5 - Transience Divine
December 16th, 2006
03:31 am

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[salon] Salon Discussion, December 5

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From:calledtovienna
Date:December 16th, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC)
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MIT may not have a responsibility to East Campus Culture (broadly speaking), but it does have some responsibility to students- after all, their parents give them in MIT's care. By denying the students an extensive Rush and a chance to properly select their living arrangements, they eit those students for the school year- since the Institute is such that people spend a lot of time in their dorms tooling, the eiting is pretty exteme. At the same tme, they complain about the amount of students with mental issues on campus. I don't know- I mean, I'd be pretty depressed if I was stuck in McGregor.

As far as I understand, the main problem is not really parents (I mean, I really don't think that most parents care about the length of Rush for example) but the academic part of the Institute. Between AP tests and "Math Diagnostic" tests (WTF, Physics department, WTF!) REX becomes filled with useless tooling corpses who are incapable of making their choices because they are too busy failing to test out of 8.02.
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From:jrising
Date:December 17th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
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I'm sure it's all related. The institute has wanted to shorten R/O (is it REX now?) for a long time, because ours is so much longer than most colleges, and you just can't fit both the social and academic stuff into that short a time, so they're always stepping on each other's toes.

I think the worse part is that the students this effects most are those who never realize that their experience could be any different. I don't think that most people have experienced being part of a community of their peers until coming to MIT-- there just aren't so many communities that strong in many places, so they come and get battered down with work, and end up thinking that that's all MIT is about.
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From:little_e_
Date:December 17th, 2006 10:44 pm (UTC)
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By denying the students an extensive Rush and a chance to properly select their living arrangements,
I had an extensive rush, and I still ended up in a sucky dorm. As a result, I basically moved to Harvard, where students aren't given any choices in their freshman dorm assignments and yet I still found a better social group and a better place to tool.

Other universities which don't have a rush system aren't eiting their students or even seriously harming them. The students figure out ways to study and hang out with people no matter what.

I mean, I'd be pretty depressed if I was stuck in McGregor. I lived in McGregor for a few weeks. It was pretty nice. I had my own room, the bathroom was decent, and it was closer to campus than my previous dorm. Yes, I had to actually walk to see my friends, but that's life. Now I live in DC and my friends are scattered from LA to Boston.

(I mean, I really don't think that most parents care about the length of Rush for example)Parents care about the length of Rush because it affects them--dropping off your kid and half of their stuff on one day, then tooling around Boston or who knows where for a week, coming back, moving the kid and setting up all of the rest of their stuff is inconvenient to say the least.

REX becomes filled with useless tooling corpses A lot of these people stay useless, tooling corpses.
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From:calledtovienna
Date:December 18th, 2006 04:36 am (UTC)
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>> I had an extensive rush, and I still ended up in a sucky dorm. As a result, I basically moved to Harvard...

I am sorry. Also, presumably we don't want our students moving to Harvard.

>>Other universities which don't have a rush system aren't eiting their students or even seriously harming them.
Most other universities are not as hosing as this one. Or, rather, other universities are not obsessing over the possibility of their students commiting cuicide. MIT is.

>>I lived in McGregor for a few weeks. It was pretty nice. I had my own room, the bathroom was decent, and it was closer to campus than my previous dorm.

Good for you. So?

McGregor is good for some people. It is not good for a lot of other people. Like, for example, me, especially me-as-a-frosh.

>>Parents care about the length of Rush because

Maybe. My parents didn't do any of that- they put me on a train and came up with my stuff a week later. My friends' parents didn't do any of that either- they put them on the plane with the stuff. Or, they dropped off the stuff. Then we had to move it from McGregor(heh) to Random. No parents affected.

>>A lot of these people stay useless, tooling corpses.

I know. But, at the same time, there is a chance that if they explore more during Rush they will either find the group of people they want to live with and not be corpses or, alternativly, be tooling corpses in the same place as other tooling corpses, and not, for example, that-dorm-I-live-in. I was rush chair- I saw this in action. It sucked.
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From:little_e_
Date:December 20th, 2006 02:13 am (UTC)
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Most other universities are not as hosing as this one. Or, rather, other universities are not obsessing over the possibility of their students committing suicide. MIT is.

Last time I checked, people didn't commit suicide because they were unhappy with their living groups or because they missed Rush. I had a friend who tried to commit suicide freshman year because she was mentally ill. If she had lived in a different dorm or among a different group of students, she still would have been mentally ill.

If you seriously think that the existence or non-existence of Rush is going to decide whether students commit suicide or not (or that you're going to convince any administrative people of this after a student managed to kill himself during Rush by drinking too much,) then I'm sorry, but you have not thought this through.

MIT's approach to possibly suicidal students, BTW? It's not changing their living groups around to make them happier. It's kicking them out so they can go live with the abusive families who drove them crazy in the first place.

MIT doesn't give a shit about suicidal students. MIT gives a shit about being sued by the parents of suicidal students. If those parents can say, "Look, you let these communities full of anarchists and druggies and bi-poly pagans and people painting their walls black and blah blah exist and that's what killed my kid, these evil influences you surrounded them with," then MIT is going to have a pretty good interest in getting rid of those communities.

Not that anyone has made that particular argument in a suicide case or anything.
Good for you. So?

So you'd fucking deal. You'd discover that other interesting people do live on campus, find them, and hang out with them. Then you'd lodge a transfer request with housing office and get moved in about a year.

Living in McGregor is not the end of the world, and some of the people there are actually nice, interesting folks who don't spend all of their time trying to match their handbags to their skirts.
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