Bexley Hall vandalized on night before move-out date
Facing a 3-year closure for renovation, residents elect representatives, contrary to dorm tradition
This past Saturday morning, Bexley Hall House Manager Jon Nolan notified Bexley residents of vandalism done to the dorm’s 50 entry the night of Friday, June 7. According to the email, the damage was significant, including broken glass strewn across the floor, fixtures torn from the walls and ceiling, and a hole in the wall that Nolan described as “the size of a human being.”
As a result of the vandalism, “50 entry is unsafe and needs to be cleared out,” he wrote.
It is unclear who caused the damage, although several residents replied to Nolan’s email to express their dismay at the events. “It is unfortunate that it occurred,” wrote Bexley GRT Matthew Getz G in an email to The Tech, “and I hope it doesn’t affect the way the administration treats the Bexley community in the future.”
Over the past several weeks, Bexley has been at the center of much discussion due to its closure, announced on May 7. The building was reported to have significant water damage and to be structurally unsound, and is scheduled to be closed for up to three years while these issues are addressed.
Nolan said that because of the vandalism, no extensions or exceptions would be granted to the senior move-out deadline at noon on June 8, the same day he sent out the email announcing the vandalism. There are now no students still residing in Bexley. GRTs and housemasters were instructed to move out as soon as possible following the final exam period.
Getz wrote that the GRTs have signed contracts with MIT that guarantee them housing in a graduate dorm for the next year, but like the undergraduates, they were not guaranteed their residence hall of choice.
Following the announcement of Bexley’s closure, residents elected seven representatives to advocate on their behalf. (As of publication time, none of the representatives have responded to The Tech.) According to Getz, “students have been very proactive about meeting with the administration and voicing their concerns.” These concerns include the fate of their tight-knit community as residents are dispersed across campus and the surrounding area.
Bexley “was the first place at MIT that I have lived that felt like home,” Getz said.
Some students have compiled group housing proposals, hoping to live together in another dorm or in off-campus housing with ILG status. The administration and students are working to provide Bexley residents with a communal gathering space on campus. Current plans include a lounge area with key card access in Walker Memorial, a building commonly used for student activities and exams. According to Dean of Student Life Chris Colombo, Bexley residents, their housemaster Bob Randolph, and several staff of the Division of Student Life will meet next week to discuss the usage of the planned Walker lounge. However, as of press time he has not responded to questions concerning group housing proposals by Bexley residents.