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MIT student blogger Erick P. '17

REX at Simmons Hall 2015 by Erick P. '17

water balloon wars, pancakes, roofdeck parties, and a trojan duck

As Vincent mentioned, the MIT Class of 2019 freshmen are currently out and about enjoying their first week orientation at MIT.

During Orientation, freshmen learn about academic requirements and extracurricular clubs and activities. They also learn about the resources available to them for help and support throughout the year like MIT Together, MIT Mental Health, and Student Support Services. We have events on diversity, what it means to be an MIT student, and how to find support and push through hard times. We even have a play put on by students to provide useful information about topics like sexual assault and alcohol. Lastly, the freshmen are placed into groups, each with an orientation leader, to be their guide for the week for any questions and concerns they may have about navigating their first year at MIT. This year I’m excited to be an orientation leader for a group of twelve freshmen (GO Purple 48! You know who you are) and will be sharing with them the many things I’ve learned at my time at MIT.

Alongside Orientation is REX (Residence Exploration), where dorms across campus put on many unique and interesting events to give freshmen more chances to experience a dorm’s culture and style before choosing a permanent residence for the year. Some events even become iconic and famous, like the East vs West Water War on Tuesday or East Campus’ yearly courtyard build project. This year, they built another wooden roller coaster, but this one is much more special than last year’s (you might hear about it in the news).

Simmons is hard at work as well, preparing for the Water War and for the Top of the Sponge roofdeck party. It’s funny to think how I was attending these events with my friends as a freshman and now, as a junior, we’re the ones running these events for the new freshmen. Here’s the REX schedule for the events my friends back at Simmons have worked hard to make:

Sunday, August 30th 
Cardboard Fort Building Go back to being a little kid and help us build a giant cardboard fort in the Mailbox Lounge. We’ll be working on the construction all day and night so come along whenever to help out! 3:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Board Games and Ice Cream Meet some of your new classmates through friendly competition! There will be games and more ice cream sandwiches than you’ve ever seen before. Meet us in our dining hall. 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM
 Monday, August 31st
Getting out of Bed is Hard But pancakes make it easier! Come down and help us empirically prove that. 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Massive Build-Fest Help Simmons Hall prepare for the water war by building a giant Trojan Duck (yes it is exactly what it sounds like: a GIANT rolling wooding duck)! This offensive weapon will be armed with many waterballoons and spirited pre-frosh as West campus rides to victory in the Water War. Even a T-Rex would cower in fear. All Day
Shield Painting and Flag Making Feeling like an artistic knight? Prepare to claim victory for West Campus in the Water War by painting your battle shield or making flags! 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Inverse Curling Turn curling on its head and roll some blocks of ice down the hall! because it’s not the ice age anymore. 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Sponge Scavenger Hunt: REX Edition Make your way through the most puzzling of MIT’s dorms on the path to become the first team to find the hidden Coin! This hunt is an exciting, fast-paced combination of math, shape, and word puzzles set within the challenge of finding clues scattered throughout Simmons Hall. To compete, arrive close to the start time (7:30 PM), as a limited number of teams will be able to participate. See you there! 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Simmons Puzzle Hunt A puzzle hunt made by MIT students for MIT students. Drop in at any time and solve a few puzzles, or stay as long as it takes to get to the end! 9:00 PM – 3:00 AM
Top of the Sponge Raise the roof /on/ the roof of Simmons Hall! Party it up as you break it down with new friends against the backdrop of the MIT campus and Boston skyline. Snap up hors d’oeuvres and light up the night with glowsticks, everyone’s favorite [non-toxic] luminescent chemicals. This will truly be the pinnacle of parties. 10:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Simmons Sleepover Soireé Come hangout with us as we do super awesome nail art, consume impressive amounts of junk food, and watch chick flicks! 11:59 PM – 2:00 AM
 Tuesday, September 1st
Mystery Breakfast There will be food, breakfast food. We have not been authorized by our research staff to say more at this time. 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Water War Prep Help Simmons prepare for the Water War in front of the large steps in front of Simmons. 2:30 PM – 5:45 PM
Salad and Henna Sick of eating burgers and hot dogs? Embrace your inner brontosaurus or triceratops by munching on some salad! We also have Henna! 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
FOR THE GLORY OF THE MOTHERSPONGE! COME ONE, COME ALL, AND MARCH FOR THE GLORY OF THE MOTHERSPONGE! (to the water war that is, trojan duck included) 5:30 PM – 5:45 PM
The Consolidation Dinner Celebrate the heroes! Mourn the fallen! Win or lose, let’s eat! 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
SIMFEST!: Scooter Hockey Roll around on scooters in Simmons dining and act like you are in 4th grade again! Score goals! Claim everlasting glory! 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Powerpoint Karaoke We prepared the slides, and you won’t be prepared (This event will occur in the first half of SimFEST) 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Resistance Sad that you died on the first night in Mafia? Play Resistance! 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Minute To Win It Mini games + 60 seconds on the clock. Do you have what it takes? 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: MAFIA! A party game of scumhunting, deceit, and villainy! 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Mahjong Tilemasters Vanquish your opponents in MAHJONG, the 4-player tile game of skill, luck, and fun, to become a Tilemaster! 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Henna Tattoos Your first day of college? Get a tattoo! A temporary one of course – but your folks don’t have to know that. 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Gatas After Dinner fast-paced pool table game. Come and join! 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Emboss like a Boss Basic introduction to the magical Simmons Craftroom (magical wardrobe not required) 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Dinos, Dramatic Music, and DIY Ice Cream Take a break from hunting dinos to feast on frozen dairy, handcrafted by you. 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST! Decorating Rainbow Cookies Come make cookie art and feed it to the dinosaurs! Or decorate two and feed yourself as well. Masterpieces will be eaten. 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Card Games Cards Against Humanity, Mao, President, BS, Go Fish, Egyptian Ratscrew, UNO. Come play some quirky card games! If you have one we haven’t heard of, just tell us the rules. 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Cupcake roulette Mayonnaise or marmalade? Wasabi or walnut? What will you get in your mystery cupcake? 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: 2nd Annual Swagfest hunt ’em down 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Battle of the Fakes Forget skill, your goal is to make it look cool. ft. Lip syncing, shakespearean acting, movie swordfighting, etc. (This event will occur in the second half of SimFEST) 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Space Team and Screaming play space team and scream. 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: Water War But this time with ping pong balls, solo cups, and your favorite juice or soda. Come get your daily dose of vitamin while having some fun! (This event will occur in the second half of SimFEST) 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SIMFEST!: How to Microwave Cooking like a real college student! 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Sardines Enjoy reverse hide-and-seek in the architectural wonder which is Simmons Hall. Keep your eyes out for any free-ranging dinosaurs… 10:30 PM – 11:59 PM
S’mores Stay by the campfire (read: grill) and tell scary stories or take your s’mores and go – just don’t wander too far or the T-Rex will get you! Vegan marshmallows available. 10:30 PM – 11:59 PM
 Wednesday, September 2nd
Breakfast Dinner There’s nothing better than pancakes after a frenzied night of collecting pages or sardines or marshmallow goodness. Join us for more of our wonderful assortment of regular and rainbow pancakes! 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Throwing ALL of the Water Balloons Those folks that didn’t help out with REX events… we are coming… with velociraptors…. and lots of squishy water balloons left from the water war. Rawr. 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM