A different kind of welcome: Fall 2020 Covid policies (for off-campus graduate students)

September 07, 2020

YOU NEED TO KNOW: off-campus event prohibition; expedited disciplinary process for Covid policy violations; success depends on all of us!

Dear graduate students living off campus,

This is an unusual fall semester as MIT manages a pandemic, and the United States and countries around the world deal with the mounting toll of Covid cases. Against this backdrop, there is continued unrest in cities across the country in the wake of police violence, systemic inequity, and the deaths of too many Black Americans. Further exacerbating these situations are natural disasters in the country’s southern and western regions and a contentious national election.

To all of you anxious about any of these issues, know that MIT is here for you. Please reach out if you need to talk with someone.

MIT’s plan for moving forward during the pandemic is guided by science and common sense. As I detail in a message I sent to graduate students living on campus, life at MIT is different now. But, if we work together and adhere to and have patience with Covid policies--both from MIT and in the communities where you live and work now--we can meet the challenges ahead.

Events, parties, and gatherings off campus. Don’t organize or attend off-campus events, parties, or gatherings until further notice--they are a leading cause of Covid hotspots on college campuses. MIT will take swift disciplinary action in response to violations of MIT Covid policies through an expedited Committee on Discipline process. Students who attend or host off-campus parties, events, or gatherings may face disciplinary action including potential suspension or loss of future campus access. [Please note: A message clarifying this policy was sent by Suzy Nelson to all students on September 9. Read it now.]

Campus Access. Students living off-campus who have not been granted official access to MIT facilities through Covid Pass for academic and research purposes may not be on campus or in campus buildings at any time. Students who do have official access through Covid Pass may use academic and research facilities they are cleared to enter, DAPER indoor and outdoor facilities (with a valid membership), and designated outdoor common areas in groups no larger than the posted occupancy. Only current MIT Housing residents may enter the Student Center and use its foodservice facilities. This chart may help clarify who has access to campus facilities.

Additional Policies and Updates

As you can see, we take student health, wellness, and safety seriously. Please review The Mind and Hand Book, which contains essential information on standards of behavior and student life policies. Other important policies include:

The success of the semester depends on every one of us!
The Institute’s decision to stick with our reopening plan is grounded in our confidence that every MIT community member will rise to the challenge.

Our plan for the fall and beyond is being put to the test. Working together, we can pass it with flying colors.

Best,
Suzy