MIT building access plan for the fall

August 19, 2022
Cynthia Barnhart, Provost | Glen Shor, Executive Vice President and Treasurer |

To the members of the MIT community,

We write with an update on our building access policy, which has spurred conversation across our community in recent days.

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, MIT took steps to manage the flow of people coming into our facilities, installing card readers that grant community members access to buildings based on compliance with health attestation and testing requirements and, later, vaccination status. As the pandemic has evolved, a planning team sought input from the community to inform the best ways to balance two MIT values: a commitment to openness and to each other’s well-being.

Last week, we previewed plans for building access that largely retain our current approach but open some additional spaces to the public. Under these plans, MIT ID holders will continue to have wide-ranging access to campus buildings, and our outdoor paths, squares, courts, and other open spaces will remain open to all. Additionally, we will open other key locations to the general public, including the first floors of the Stata Center and the Koch Institute, and the E25 atrium. These are in addition to MIT Medical, the Student Center, Z-Center, and Welcome Center, which are already open to the public. We will continue to gladly welcome visitors to open events, and other guests who are registered using Tim Tickets or escorted by MIT ID holders.

We appreciate the input from the MIT community that informed these plans, as well as the diverse perspectives that we have heard over the past week. It’s clear a great many people – spanning our own community and our broader community of neighbors – care deeply about access to MIT. There are also many who worry about safety in fully open buildings.

With all this in mind, our plan is to proceed with the described approach for the fall semester, and to continue the conversation about how to strike the right balance between access to our buildings and safety for MIT community members for the spring semester and beyond.

We look forward to further dialogue with our community and with key stakeholders on this important question.

Cynthia Barnhart, Provost

Glen Shor, Executive Vice President and Treasurer