I’m spending the day meeting with my first-year advisees before classes begin next week. But over the last week, the Class of 2026 arrived on campus for their orientation, of which one major component is Residential Exploration, or REX for short, which is part of how housing is assigned. According to MIT’s Dormitory Council:
Residence Exploration, or REX, is a four day experience for first year students to explore MIT dorms and find their future home on campus. For those of you who haven’t already decided where you’re going to live, REX is the perfect time to explore MIT’s dorms and pick the place where you fit in best with the culture and residents. For the rest of you, REX is a great opportunity to find out about the different parts of campus that you otherwise might not experience. Most of all, REX is a time to enjoy yourself, meet as many people as possible, first years and upperclassmen, and get a feel for everything MIT has to offer.
Historically, the guide to REX, which features ~350 events over ~6 days, was published in the Tech in a center-spread titled The Daily Confusion (see e.g. TDC for 2015, 2014, and 2013). In recent years, in an attempt to make REX slightly less confusing (but just as daily), DormCon also moved the guide online. Reading it can be a uniquely good guide to understanding what the MIT culture is like, at least as reflected by the kinds of events that the different dorms organize to represent their life and culture and attract well-matched new residents.
I’ve embedded a PDF below if you want to idly flip through it. Hopefully some of the bloggers will post some pictures from their dorm’s REX events soon!
Also, MIT released an appreciation video about how various staff around campus prepare it for the return of students, and I wanted to share it ahead of Labor Day: