• Members of MIT's improv acting troupe perform for students — and penguins — at the New England Aquarium. Nearly a 1,000 incoming freshmen traveled to the Aquarium on Friday, Sept. 2, for an MIT-only night of dancing, hands-on exploration, performance and other activities.

    Photo: Dani DeSteven

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  • A sea turtle waves to two of MIT's incoming freshmen. Students were able to wander through the aquarium's exhibits and take part in different activities all through the night.

    Photo: Dani DeSteven

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  • Bringing a whole new meaning to 'hands-on' learning, students reach out to touch stingray and sharks at a petting exhibit.

    Photo: Dani DeSteven

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  • Emily Ruppel, a graduate student at MIT, drew caricatures of the new freshmen in the aquarium's Jellyfish Lounge

    Photo: Dani DeSteven

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  • The MIT Ridonkulous Dance Group put on a show in a tent on the wharf. Several dance groups performed for the freshmen including the Casino Rueda salsa club.

    Photo: Dani DeSteven

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  • Cross Products, an MIT Christian A Capella Group, harmonized near the big tank.

    Photo: Dani DeSteven

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  • There may be no better way to feel a part of the MIT community than to get your photograph taken with Tim the Beaver.

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  • Students could choose from three different 3-D movies in the aquarium's IMAX theater.

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  • Local Boston band 'Mission Hill' performs live in the Aquarium Cafe. Mission Hill's music has been featured on MTV's 'Best Music on Campus' and named the 'Top Local Band To Watch in 2010' by Boston Music Spotlight.

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  • Student volunteer orientation leaders — identifiable by their tie-dye shirts — celebrate their last night on the job with some dancing in the tent on the wharf.

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Freshmen start the year with a splash

Incoming first-year students swim over to the New England Aquarium for a night of fun.


Moving as one, a school of nearly 1,000 new first-year MIT students migrated across the Charles River to the New England Aquarium on Friday, Sept. 2, for an evening that featured 15 MIT performance groups, free IMAX movies and an outdoor dance party.

The “Night at the Aquarium” was organized by SLOPE — the Student Life Orientation Programs and Events committee. Over the course of the night, MIT frosh took over the aquarium, snapped photos with Tim the Beaver, and rocked out to a performance by local award-winning band Mission Hill.

The theme for the evening was “no liMITs,” according to Residential Life Associate Mellisa Thompson, a committee co-chair for the event. She said the theme reflected the event’s goal of letting students preview some of the limitless social opportunities at MIT and around town.

“Many students understand that there will be a lot of academic work at MIT, but they sometimes don’t anticipate the social challenges they might face,” said Julie Rothhaar, assistant dean of residential life and co-chair of SLOPE. “Events like this help students connect as part of their class and as a part of MIT.”


Topics: Community, Special events and guest speakers, Student life, Students

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