Fall updates and the Student Housing Assistance Review Process (SHARP)

July 18, 2020

Dear students,

The summer has been a whirl of activity in preparation for the fall. To answer students’ and families’ questions and to offer more context on a wide range of topics, we hosted a town hall on Wednesday, July 15. I now write to share some timely updates as you consider your plans for the fall semester.

While there are new policies and expectations that will help protect you and other members of the community, we are also working on ways to connect you with each other, to have some fun, and to make progress on your academic goals. For example, DAPER started reopening its outdoor facilities and is preparing to open the Z Center for students who are on campus this fall. DAPER is also offering online group exercise classes and will make physical education classes available online to fulfill graduation requirements, including the swim test. More information about the quality of life on campus this fall will be forthcoming.

SHARP is live

The Student Housing Assistance Review Process (SHARP) launched yesterday and closes on Tuesday, July 21 at 11:59 pm (EDT). As you may have heard, SHARP is designed to help rising sophomores and juniors who wish to request on-campus housing during the fall 2020 semester. We have also heard from students, including seniors, who are experiencing significant hardship and who believe they absolutely cannot live at home and cannot live on campus. We want these students to reach out to SHARP as well.

As a general rule, incoming first-year students will not be considered for on-campus housing except in cases of significant hardship. This is because there will be no on-campus orientation in the fall and first-years won't have the benefit of all of the social interaction and on-campus support that is part of a typical MIT fall. As a result, first-year students would experience challenges trying to navigate MIT on their own. Even so, if you are a first-year student and feel you are in a situation that makes it important for you to be on campus, please submit a request through SHARP.

Before submitting your request, please review all of the materials—including the decision-making flowchart and self-assessment tool and consider talking to a SHARP peer consultant to help you decide what might be best for you. I especially encourage first-year students who are weighing whether to apply to SHARP to talk with a peer consultant.

Housing policies

These rules delineate what is in-bounds and out-of-bounds when living in campus housing. Please know that we are still working through some important issues including visitor access and use of common spaces, but if you want to know more about laundry, residence hall security, and more, I suggest starting here. Those who are eligible and want to live on campus should complete their housing intention and preference forms through the MyHousing portal by July 27.

There is more information to come, so please watch your inbox for email updates in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, I hope you and your loved ones are well and that you get some downtime as the summer draws to a close.

Sincerely,

Suzy Nelson
Vice President and Dean for Student Life