|Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups|
|Type:||Independent Living Group|
|Address:||259 Saint Paul Street, Brookline|
Epsilon Theta (ET) is a co-ed independent living group with roughly 25 members (known as "Thetans"). These men and women live in a colonial revival mansion (more commonly referred to as a "big yellow house") in Brookline, a beautiful historic neighborhood across the Charles River from MIT. It is in this house that they work, play, and hoard a massive army of rubber duckies.
ET's culture is constantly evolving, shaped by the interests of whoever happens to be living there at the time. Some of their current current obsessions are:
- Playing board and card games (the likes of Dominion, Setters of Catan, Puerto Rico, and many more)
- Making board games (visit to try some of their twisted creations!)
- Music (Thetans have lots of instruments, and they like concerts too)
- Movies (from Pixar and Miyazaki to Coppola and Kurosawa)
- Video games (especially Starcraft and Rock Band)
- "Mobs" (large group outings to dinner, performances, skating, etc)
- Nerf/boffer wars
- Spontaneous silliness
The House is socially dry, meaning that no alcohol is served at parties. However, visitors can usually expect to find costumes, cake, and/or LARPing.
ET also has many traditions, both old and new:
- Not Coffee (a weekly study break with tasty snacks that, in general, are not coffee)
- Good Movie Night (weekly screenings of critically acclaimed movies)
- Stereo Wars (a contest of loudness before the start of Finals studying)
There have also been unconfirmed reports of Thetans wearing black suits and bowler hats…
ET strives to be a tight-knit community where everyone looks out for each other and takes care of the House as a whole. Try one of their home-cooked meals and you'll see why: dinner at ET is a social gathering where people discuss the day's events and engage in lively discussions (both silly and serious). On Saturday nights, local alumni often come to eat dinner and share in the fun.
At the same time, ET is very much part of the MIT culture. In recent years, Thetans have been well-represented in many student groups, such as ESP, the Assassin's Guild, Tech Squares, SIPB, and SPS.
ET's personal rooms come in a variety of unique shapes and sizes and range from singles to quads. Thetans can often be found tooling in the living room or punting in the Pit (a rec room in the basement, which contains a critical mass of board and video games as well as a big projector screen).
Personal rooms don't have beds (although some rooms have couches, futons, or beanbags). Instead, Thetans sleep in a series of bunkbeds on the top floor (known as "the Dorm"). Everyone has their own bed in the Dorm, which is kept dark and quiet at all times.
Karen has been the cook at ET for over 20 years, and in that time she's developed a reputation for diverse, creative meals (from Gator Eggs to Chaos Pie). She cooks dinner five nights a week (Monday-Thursday, Saturday) and lunch two days a week (Saturday and Sunday). Vegetarian options are always available, and Karen is happy to accomodate any dietary restrictions. Thetans are free to munch on leftovers or use the industrial-grade kitchen for their own culinary experiments.
Thetans live roughly 1.3 miles from campus. On weekdays, their 15-passenger van travels between ET and MIT 5 times a day (twice in the morning, twice in the afternoon, and once in the evening). There are also a few "van runs" on the weekends. In addition, MIT operates a Saferide shuttle in the evenings, which stops at ET (along with many other FSILGs).
The journey between MIT and ET is a pleasant 10-minute van ride, 15-minute bike ride, or 40-minute walk.
Freshmen are required to live on campus (as per Institvte policy). However, they are allowed to spend as much time as they'd like at ET. There are extra beds in case they want to crash at ET overnight. Freshmen are considered full members of the house (they can vote in elections and hold all elected positions). Freshmen members move in at the beginning of their sophomore year.
ET has a rush process similar to many other FSILGs. During Rush Week, Thetans hold many fun events — from dinner and dessert to ET specialties like Duck Duck Mafia and Contact Charades — that help them get to know prospective members. The rush schedule can be found here. During the course of Rush, many participants are invited to consider joining the house.
Those who accept the offer become pledges, effectively full members of the house. The semester-long Pledge Program is designed to introduce them to ET and MIT. This program is mainly aimed toward freshmen, but upperclassmen and graduate students are also welcome to join. ET does not discriminate on the basis of major, sleep schedule, or favorite milk color (although fierce debates have raged about the latter…).
If you have any questions, feel free to email ET at [email protected] ET's address is 259 Saint Paul Street, Brookline, MA 02446; ET's phone number is (617) 734-9211.