Orientation Held for Class of 2027
Kornbluth: “You belong here.”
Orientation for the Class of 2027 began on Aug. 27 and ended Sept. 1. Many events were packed into the week, including residential exploration (REX) and a Convocation address from President Sally Kornbluth.
During REX, the Class of 2027 immersed themselves in dorm tours and various activities. Vicki Carrica ’27 said “[REX] was a fun way to meet all of the first years while getting free food and exploring campus.”
Former residents of East Campus organized REX events. EC, which is known for its culture and community, will be shuttered for renovations until the fall of 2025. Maria Santos ’27 said, “The EC Party was really fun and the structure was impressive.”
During Orientation Week, the Class of 2027 was divided into color-based orientation teams and had friendly competitions intended to form a cohesive community. Each team was broken up into smaller groups led by an orientation leader (OL). The orientation group activities, however, elicited a mixed response among the freshmen.
Some enjoyed the orientation group activities. Adowyn Bryn ’27 said, “I liked having some built in interaction with my orientation group, but I’m the sort of person who likes icebreakers.” Shagun Bothra ’27 added, “I liked the orientation groups a lot especially since the icebreakers and group activities made it easier to get to know the other people in my group.”
Nevertheless, others believed that the orientation events took time away from the more enjoyable REX events. Carrica said that “the OLs were great but forcing people into groups & forcing conversation did make it awkward.” She added that “it was evident a lot of people didn’t want to be there as the participation declined steadily as the week went on.”
On the second day of Orientation, the Class of 2027 gathered on the Kresge lawn in front of the Stratton Student Center to attend President Sally Kornbluth’s first Convocation, having assumed the presidency earlier this year.
Kornbluth highlighted the collaborative nature of the MIT community, saying, “You’re surrounded by a community of caring people. So, at any time, if you feel like you could use some support — academic, professional, personal — don’t hesitate to ask.”
She also highlighted the importance of trying new things, saying, “Even if it feels a bit risky, you can join a group that sounds interesting, practice a new skill, or volunteer to serve others in the communities beyond campus.” The Convocation ceremony concluded with the school song “In Praise of MIT” performed by the Chorallaries of MIT.
Freshmen also participated in the annual Activities Midway and Academic Expo events, where they saw exhibits about various clubs and academic departments and talked to upperclassmen and faculty present regarding their interests. Mia Lu ‘27 found “the stalls quite informative but overcrowded, making it hard to talk and obtain information from all the departments and activities I was interested in.”
On the last day of orientation week, the incoming freshman class, around 1092 students hailing from 59 different countries, also posed for a class of 2027 photo in front of Kilian Court. The photo shoot was in stark contrast to the letter-writing event that the freshmen attended hours later in the Kresge Auditorium: they wrote a letter to their future selves, which will be delivered at the conclusion of freshman year. Anna Yang ’27 said, “it was helpful especially because I had not really thought of my future goals except academics until that point. The event really encouraged me to think of my deeper goals.”
MIT did reserve the Boston aquarium for one final event on Sept. 1. Shravika Pendyala ‘27 said, “it was a great opportunity to explore nighttime Boston, and also to go out with other freshmen and get to know them better.”