EAsT camPUS

Old East CampusBased on the song "Lizzie Borden" by the Chad Mitchell Trio.

By The Doormat Singers, Dan Murphy '65 and Matt Fichtenbaum '66

Download in MP3 format
Performed by The Doormat Singers, circa 1965

Watch the EC Band perform the song during CPW 2013

In 2015, Kim Dauber '18 recorded a four-part harmony version of the song.
See the sheet music and listen to her mix.

Now there's a little rule that says hot plates cannot be, MIT has been banning hot plates in residence halls since as early as the 1950s. In 1958, a hot plate caused a small fire in Burton House, prompting students and administrators to consider a number of different potential enforcement and self-enforcement mechanisms. The hot plates were banned because the old dormitory circuitry could not support the load, but the ban remained contentious in large part because students felt that the administration was not adequately responding to their complaints regarding dining on campus. (Source: The Tech, "Dormitory Residents to Loose[sic] Hotplates").
And you know we all observe it, so if you wish to see
You can search our rooms all over, I'm sure none will be found,
If you just give us fair warning when you're gonna come around!

No, you can't keep your hot plates here in Old East Campus,
Dean Fassett Frederick G. Fassett, Jr. was named MIT's first Dean of Residence in September, 1956. (Source: The Tech, "Fassett Head of Campus Housing"). He retired in 1966. (Source: The Tech, "Dean's Office staff reorganized"). does not think that it's a joke (it's no joke!)
There's a contract says Stouffer's Stouffer's managed food for MIT from 1958 until 1974, when the Institute decided to manage all food operations on campus. (Sources: The Tech, "Stouffer's Starts Running Morss Hall Food Service"; The Tech, "Food service offs Stouffer's"). serves all food on campus,
With hot plate competition they'd go broke!

Now the guys in Old East Campus like to have a little fun,
But the Institute has told us, it's gotta end at 1!
Now maybe you can stretch it, but you better be discreet,
Or it just might hit page 1 of Boston's little scandal sheet! This refers to The Record American, which was a local Boston tabloid that sometimes ran gossip stories about scandalous behavior at local campuses. The Record American merged with the Herald Traveler in 1972 to form The Boston Herald Traveler and Record American, eventually renamed to The Boston Herald. (Source: Personal email from Dan Murphy, October 31, 2012).

No, you can't keep your mistress here in Old East Campus,
JudComm is alert and stands on guard (stands on guard!)
No, she can't come to live with you in Old East Campus,
Unless, of course, you sign that little card. MIT used to have parietal rules universally enforced with a card sign-in system. In the Spring of 1969, the Academic Council allowed each dorm government to decide its own policy for parietal rules, all of which, except for McCormick, chose to abolish them. (Source: The Tech, "Dorms to decide parietals").

There's an annual event which we call Old East Campus Day, East Campus Day was an annual celebration first held in 1957. (Source: The Tech, "East Campus Day Climaxed With Hot Dogs, Ballons, By Parallel"). Held every year in early May, it consisted of water balloon fights, barbecues, and general celebratory and destructive antics. The last mention of East Campus Day in The Tech was in 1964, so the event appears to have stopped that year or soon after.
Just a peaceful celebration that Spring is on its way,
Now there may just be some racket, some water coming down,
So I think I'll play it safe and maybe just be out of town...

'Cause it gets kinda noisy here by Old East Campus,
It's strange but true I swear so do not scoff (do not scoff!)
An H-bomb could fall on top of Old East Campus,
And no one there would hear when it went off!

Now don't let me mislead you, I am not dissatisfied,
'Cause I know that loud objectors sometimes take a little ride, For a while, there was some ambiguity surrounding this line, which was at one point thought to refer to how in 1936, hackers from East Campus hoisted a car and placed it onto a balcony on the fourth floor of the dormitory. (Source: The Tech, "Car Hoisted To Roof Of Dortomories By Enterprising Students In Prank"). Clarification arrived later: "It wasn't based on any specific event at East Campus; rather a general suggestion that those who complain too much might be invited to leave, perhaps in unfriendly ways. Like in the old gangster movies when some mug says, "Guido and the boys are gonna take youse for a little ride", you know the guy is in big trouble." — Personal email from Dan Murphy, January 21, 2015
Old East Campus ain't the best-est place in all the universe,
But you could be stuck in Burton "Burton House and Conner Hall" was established as a new dorm in 1950. Now more commonly shortened as "Burton-Conner," the dormitory was referred to simply as "Burton" or "Burton House" in earlier years, especially prior to major renovations in 1970. (Source: Sixty Years of Burton House). and you know that's ten times worse!

So I'll stay here and not leave Old East Campus,
There may be bugs and now and then a mouse (one small mouse!)
Though things are not perfect here in Old East Campus,
It's a damn sight better than Old Burton House!

Yes, I'll stay here and not leave Old East Campus...
[Shut the door, we're caught in a lurch,
Here comes Freddy "The 'Freddy' of 'Here comes Freddy on a hotplate search' was not Dean Frederick G. Fassett, but rather Freddy Jenkins, who was the building manager of East Campus - a paid staff position. He was the one who led the occasional search for hot plates and in general had to deal with whatever damage we might cause to the physical plant. He must have had a good source of anti-anxiety meds." — Personal email from Dan Murphy, January 21, 2015 on a hot plate search!]

Yes, I'll stay here and not leave Old East Campus...
[Hayden, Walcott, Wood, Munroe,
Strike a match and see them go!]

Yes I'll stay here and not leave Old East Campus...
[MIT is sure a drag,
Shut the door and bite the bag! 1960s-1970s slang used in US universities to mean "be quiet!" (Source: Cassell's Dictionary of Slang). Used also in hacker circles to mean "to fail," especially as a computer program or programmer. The term also likely has obscene origins. (Source: The Jargon File) ]

Yes, I'll stay here and not leave Old East Campus...
It's a damn sight better than Old Burton House!

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