Barbecue gathers prefrosh, alums

MIT Club of Boston throws annual party at Sidney-Pacific

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MIT alumni and current students line up on Sunday at the MIT Club of Boston (MIT COB) barbecue to grab food off the grill prepared by MIT COB volunteers. Over 300 people attended, and nearly 70 people volunteered for the annual event held in the courtyard of the Sidney-Pacific Graduate Residence.
Joanna Kao—The Tech

A range of generations of the MIT community gathered at Sidney-Pacific for the annual barbecue of the MIT Club of Boston this past Sunday. Alumni, their children, current students, and incoming freshmen mingled amid food and activities under the hot summer sun. The club sponsored the event for prefrosh and MIT affiliates in the greater Boston area, providing activities for children as well as opportunities for alumni to reconnect with each other and to meet current students.

While most of the current undergraduate students who attended the barbecue were on campus to participate in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), many of the incoming freshmen had been taking the summer off from serious work. Attendees said that they were spending their time reading, traveling, packing, and preparing for the fall semester.

Daniel Y. Zhang ’15 of Newton, Mass., said that he was excited about meeting new people in the fall, noting that he looked forward to meeting students with different backgrounds and interesting ideas. Although unsure of his major, Zhang said he is considering his options for fulfilling the General Institute Requirements and is trying to decide which advance standing exams he will take. Like many of the other freshmen at the event, Zhang wondered what technology-enabled active learning (TEAL) is — and why it is so hard to get a basic description of the teaching style without a good amount of opinion mixed into the explanation.

Like Zhang, Jennifer J. Thornton ’15 looks forward to “exploring new stuff” once she arrives on campus, beginning with her freshmen pre-orientation program, Discover Mechanical Engineering. Thornton said she was excited about living in Simmons this fall and is planning to major in biological engineering,

Though there were relatively few members of the Class of 2015 gathered around a table on the sunny patio, a significant portion of the dorms was represented. Zhang said that he will be living in Next House. Troy P. Welton ’15, who is planning on majoring in physics and math, said that he has been assigned to Spanish House and has already begun corresponding with residents. John B. Thomas ’15, who will be living in Baker, said that he is happy to have been assigned to his first choice.

Tiffany J. Amariuta ’15, who plans to declare Course 10B, is looking forward to making new friends in McCormick. She said she is excited for orientation and will be volunteering for CityDays. Like many others, Amariuta is hoping to get a UROP once the year gets started. Learning new sports through P.E. classes also ranks high on her list — especially learning how to ice skate.

The barbecue was just one of the many events held for incoming freshmen by MIT clubs across the nation. To look for events in your area, check with your local MIT club.