Spring updates on the campus grocer, dining, housing, and more

March 21, 2024
Suzy M. Nelson, Vice Chancellor and Dean for Student Life |

TL;DR: Concord Market is the new campus grocer; Spring Break dining in Maseeh with modified hours; New and enhanced retail dining offerings; Vending hubs in buildings 4, 45, and W20; Grad Junction construction and EC renovation updates; Review important policies.

Dear students,

Spring started at 11:06 pm on Tuesday, and you’re off for spring break next week. Before you take some much-deserved downtime, I am writing as promised to share encouraging updates on the campus grocer, dining, and housing and to remind you about additional student life resources.

This message focuses on food, so I want to ensure you know about MIT's food resources and other personal, financial, and academic supports. You can also follow progress on several student life priorities on the DSL website’s Key Matters page. By the way, the DSL website is being overhauled in the coming year, and we’d like your input. Please complete the pop-up survey when you next visit the site.

Lastly, I invite you to Friday office hours with DSL deans in 4-110. Addie, our furry, four-legged dean, will be there whenever possible. Please come by, grab a snack, and chat with DSL staff on topics that matter to you. I hope to see you there.

Best regards,

Suzy M. Nelson
Vice Chancellor and Dean for Student Life

Student Center grocer

I am thrilled to announce that Concord Market, a family-owned independent grocer from Concord, Mass., will open in the space formerly occupied by LaVerde’s Market. They will also offer catering services for the entire MIT community.

Owner Elizabeth Akehurst-Moore’s team has an excellent reputation for delicious prepared and made-to-order foods, a creative product mix in their beautiful store, and fantastic customer service. Food in their campus store will likewise be delicious and made with care, and they will carry a wide variety of everyday essentials like pasta, soups and sauces, fresh fruit and vegetables, rice, dairy products, and meats. I have been impressed by their commitment to learning about our community and adjusting their products and services to ensure they’re selling what our community wants and what students need. There’s still a lot of work to be done – space renovations will start this summer, and we are working closely with Concord Market on other priorities, including competitive pricing to ensure their products are as affordable as possible.

For Concord Market to thrive, they will need to build a base of catering customers on and around campus. I urge student groups and residential communities to make Concord Market one of your preferred catering vendors — and having sampled their food and experienced their hospitality, I think you’ll be impressed! Please read this FAQ with answers to questions from community members about the new grocer. Hopefully, the additional information will shed more light on Concord Market and what we can look forward to once the store opens.


A lot is happening with dining. Some changes are visible, and we are working diligently behind the scenes as well to elevate your MIT food and dining experience. This is a top priority for DSL and MIT leadership, and I will continue to share our progress.

Spring Break dining service. If you are on campus over spring break, please know that the Howard Dining Hall in Maseeh will be open daily from Saturday, March 23, to Saturday, March 30. Brunch will be served from 10 am to 1:30 pm, and dinner will be served from 5 to 8:30 pm. Meal plan subscribers can simply swipe their IDs, and guests can pay at the door with cash or TechCASH. Regular dining hall hours will resume on Sunday, March 31.

New and enhanced dining offerings. Accessibility and affordability continue to be guiding principles for dining. Last summer, we expanded menus at several retail eateries with items that emphasize efficiency, quality, and price. For example, Bosworth’s Cafe in Lobby 7 extended its hours and now offers an expanded menu of grab-and-go items, including a $9 sandwich-of-the-day special. The Global Bytes bowls in the Stata Center’s Forbes Family Cafe are delicious, nutritious, very popular, and just $8. And please remember 100 Main Marketplace in the Sloan School, which continues to serve up delicious breakfast and lunch, and the Commonwealth Kitchen Launchpad on the Student Center’s second floor, which offers some great international options.

House dining review. This semester, the Pulse Consulting Group is partnering with MIT to review all six residential dining operations: Maseeh, New Vassar, Baker, McCormick, Next, and Simmons. The study includes a close analysis and needs assessment that will inform the process for securing a new dining contract commencing in July 2025. This follows the December 2022 retail dining study, which assessed seven of MIT’s 14 on-campus retail eateries. If you received an invitation to participate in a house dining survey, please take time to share your thoughts today.

Vending hubs. We heard community member feedback that our campus needs more around-the-clock food. This year, we opened 24-hour vending hubs in 4-115 and 45-106, offering meals, snacks, and beverages. (We’re also adding a temporary vending hub next to the future Concord Market in the Student Center.) This program started as a pilot with Dormcon to make more food options available to students on the east side of campus. The machines in 4-115 sell healthy meals and snacks from Berkshire Natural, Farmer’s Fridge, and Koury Beverages, and you’ll find a Bleni Blends smoothie maker as featured last year on NBC’s Shark Tank. The results so far in 4-115 are encouraging: the machines recorded thousands of transactions in the first month, and though we don’t have comparable data, our vending partner said they were pleased with the results.


East Campus renovations. To get a sense of what EC’s environment will be like when the community reopens in the summer of 2025, I encourage you to watch these animated walkthroughs of the courtyard and community kitchenmain entrance and makerspace, and an example interior and kitchen. Narrated by EC resident and Transition Team member Ruby Adkins ‘26, the videos highlight the ways that the new design incorporates the community’s longstanding character and traditions. And just a walk past EC today makes it clear that a big transformation is underway.

Graduate Junction. Make sure to also walk down Vassar Street to see how MIT’s newest residential community is taking shape. Grad Junction was the topic of an MIT News Q&A by David Friedrich, senior associate dean for housing and residential services. The residence offers a new approach to student housing, combining off-campus-style living and on-campus convenience. American Campus Communities, the operating partner for the building, opened a licensing office in the Student Center. Please stop by and visit the sample unit to experience the living environment and finishes first-hand.

Student Center

Wellbeing Lab. More refurbished spaces have opened since my August update. Though the third floor appears closed off, the new Wellbeing Lab is open and filled with activity. (The temporary wall will be dismantled in the coming months, opening even more lounge space on the floor.) You can take advantage of the Lab’s excellent programming or simply escape the bustle of W20 to enjoy some peace and calm.

Fourth Floor. The beating heart of our student group community is fully open, featuring beautiful new dance/movement spaces and a wide-open lobby lounge. Considering the floor was virtually untouched since the building opened in the mid-1960s, the public spaces and student offices renovated after February 2023’s flood are wonderfully bright and welcoming.

Understanding key policies

The Mind and Hand Book contains essential information about policies intended to help you stay safe and healthy, including the following: