East Side Festival revives Steer Roast, East Campus Day

‘The intent ... was to help the East Campus students explore and create an identity’

The East Side Festival, hosted by the East Campus dormitory, took place May 5. The event sought to merge two separate traditional events — the annual Senior House Steer Roast, and the East Campus Day celebration from East Campus — in order to make the event comfortable for both communities.

“The intent of this festival was to help the East Campus students explore and create an identity, especially now that new students from Senior House are a part of East Campus,” Maurizio Diaz ’20, one of the East Campus representatives in the planning committee for this event, explained in a phone interview with The Tech. “We don’t want them to be forced to adopt East Campus culture immediately.”

The planning committee consisted of students representing East Campus, students representing Senior House, and alumni. According to Diaz, the committee originally intended to include Random Hall as a part of this year’s event but will do so next year.

Diaz also explained that the event sought to strengthen relations between alumni and current East Campus residents. Several alumni of East Campus, including some from MIT’s Class of 1962, attended the event with their families.

The festival included a feast, which included the preparation and consumption of large cuts of meat, mud wrestling, a slang wall, on which alumni wrote slang that was popular during their time at MIT, the “tee-peeing” of the Transparent Horizon sculpture, and the viewing of “nostalgia videos,” during which students and alumni watched old i3 videos and video diaries of past East Campus residents.

Each hall in East Campus also had the opportunity to create and display art projects to represent their hall and identities. These projects were funded by Senior House funds. The first floor, for example, created a banner that read, “started from the bottom now we here.”