Spring semester to proceed as planned, undergraduates to move in Feb. 13–15

Off-campus seniors may request access to campus facilities

Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88 wrote that the spring semester move-in and in-person instruction start dates would not be delayed in an email to undergraduates Jan. 22. Barnhart previously outlined contingency plans that would delay these dates in a Jan. 15 email.

MIT will proceed with the original Feb. 13–15 move-in dates. The first day of in-person instruction will be March 1, also as planned.

The decision came after “seeking advice from public health experts and consulting with our Covid-19 Monitoring and Decision teams,” who said delaying the dates “would likely not reduce risk significantly.” 

Barnhart also wrote that MIT Medical will mail a pre-departure COVID-19 testing kit to eligible undergraduates in the U.S. The goal of the program is to identify students who test positive “before they depart so that they can isolate and recover prior to traveling to campus.”

An information session on the Spring was held for students and families Jan. 27 with Barnhart, Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz, Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson present, along with other student and Institute leaders.

In  an email to undergraduates Dec. 14, Barnhart wrote that seniors living near MIT would be able to request access to campus in the spring for “research and academic activities such as thesis work, UROPs, and in-person instruction required for degree completion.”

Seniors may request access through thesis, research, or department advisors, who will then work with the Office of the Vice Chancellor to assess and approve requests. Once approved for access, seniors will be issued Covid Pass and will be required to maintain twice-a-week testing and daily health attestation.

Barnhart explained that the exception for seniors was “informed by the fact that, to date, we have seen no transmission of the virus on campus in classroom or laboratory settings,” and by how MIT’s “testing, contact tracing, and student support systems withstood” the uptick in cases experienced by MIT in November.