Spring housing placements delayed until late December
Housing and Residential Services (HRS) received a “high volume” of spring housing applications and expects that “students’ housing plans may change during the course of the coming weeks.”
IAP grading to be A, B, C, D/NE, F/NE, without PE/NE option
Sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students will receive A, B, C, D/NE, and F/NE grades on Independent Activities Period (IAP) subjects. Unlike in the fall term, students will not be able to have a subject graded on PE/NE.
MIT departments launch DEI initiatives
Dozier said that ”we want to make sure we are honoring our commitments and that relies on transparency.” He adds that students should “continue to help us as an administration on how to best serve MIT.
Remembering biology professor Angelika Amon
Amon mentored over 80 undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers during her 20 years as an MIT professor, according to MIT News. She was awarded the School of Science’s Undergraduate Teaching Prize in the 2006–2007 academic year.
First years, sophomores, and juniors invited back to campus for Spring 2021
According to an FAQ about the spring semester, housing assignments will be shared with students in “late November.” Students will be able to participate in the residential pod program with up to six pod members.
Spring semester delayed by two weeks, spring break canceled
Danheiser and Canavan added that spring break was removed “to avoid the usual travel away from MIT.” Six break days, consisting of two four-day weekends and two three-day weekends, have been designated instead.
Get Out the Vote festival encourages students to vote
Performers at the event included Yo-Yo Ma, Duckwrth, Joyce Wrice, Bren Joy, Brandon Banks, Raye Zaragoza, HOAX, Mariela Shaker, the Couchsleepers, Solstice Fayemz, and Lil Seyi. MIT’s Asian Dance Team, Bhangra, Mirchi, and Casino Rueda dance groups also contributed performances.
Remembering Sergio Dominguez (1997-2020)
Sergio Dominguez ’22 died suddenly Sept. 22, President L. Rafael Reif wrote in an email to the MIT community Sept. 23. Dominguez majored in Course 6-9 (Computation and Cognition) and lived in New House and East Campus.
UA Diversity Council established to promote diversity, equity and inclusion
The Council’s charter writes that the Council “will work closely with the Institute Community & Equity Office to elevate the DEI needs of undergraduate students through policy, statements, and recommendations.”
Virtual Fall Career Fair series to begin Sept. 21
Unlike previous years, MIT will not have a student holiday during the career fair. Additionally, there will be no official Interview Day, and each company will coordinate its own interviews.
Undergraduates abroad Fall 2020 will not be paid for hourly wage jobs
Waitz wrote that MIT can only pay undergraduates living abroad by stipend and not hourly wages due to “international tax and compliance issues.”
Fall Emergency Academic Regulations discourage use of third-party online proctoring
According to the regulations, the “statement of required work” must contain a list of assignments, an “approximate” schedule with test dates and deadlines, final examination information, and grading criteria.
DSL releases Fall 2020 on-campus COVID-19 policies
Pods will allow groups of up to six students in the same residence hall “to socialize in certain settings that do not require 6 feet physical distancing” or face coverings.
A, B, C, D/NE, F/NE grading system to be implemented in fall
PE/NE grading can be applied to “any subject including those used to fulfill” GIRs, “minor,” and “departmental requirements.” The decision to grade a class under PE/NE “must be made by drop date,” Danheiser wrote.
Fall on-campus undergraduate housing form opens
The form asks students to indicate their housing intentions for the fall, their residence hall and rooming preferences, and their preferred move-in date and time.
UA and GSC join amicus brief filed in DHS, ICE lawsuit
The brief writes that international students have “contributed immeasurably to the advancement of American higher education and to the American economy,” whose “participation has become an integral part of the American educational experience.”
MIT graduate students, Barnhart, and Waitz file declarations in lawsuit against DHS and ICE
Waitz wrote that since the July 6 ICE directive, “ISO has fielded hundreds of calls and emails from students” with concerns over their visa status, the state of their home country, class participation, financial loss, or “deferral or foregoing their academic programs.”
Research ramp-up expands to non-laboratory facilities
The Research Ramp-Up Thunder Committee, chaired by MIT Libraries Director Chris Bourg, was formed June 17 to plan the return to non-laboratory on-campus research activities in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; Sloan School of Management; School of Architecture and Planning; MIT Libraries; and MIT Museum.
2021 Class Council petitions for access to campus for all seniors
The petition adds that senior year is “the final opportunity for students to find closure in the relationships they’ve built throughout their time at MIT” and “an important time to foster class unity.”
UA creates Committee on COVID-19 to advise MIT administration amid pandemic
The committee has gathered undergraduate feedback through a survey released June 21 on grading policy, academics, MIT administrators’ decision-making timeline, residential life, and international student concerns for the upcoming school year.
UA holds grading policy forum
Danheiser wrote that APART is “seeking input from both students and instructors” about grading policies for the fall semester and that a decision will be made by “mid-July.”
Outside Engagements Survey closed amid controversy
The survey contained six questions each asking students to choose between two hypothetical donor engagements based on the donation amount, “MIT’s recognition of the donor,” the “donor’s intended use for the money,” and the donor’s controversial activities, criminal history, and conviction history.
Heads of house issue memorandum against 100% undergraduate return in fall
The memorandum wrote that the 100% undergraduate return option “might create a false sense of security” and “normalcy,” increasing the likelihood of noncompliance with physical distancing rules.
MIT participates in #ShutDownSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia, #Strike4BlackLives
The math department and the earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences department separately held department-wide readings and discussions on anti-black racism in STEM.
UA releases recommendations on options for Fall 2020
The Undergraduate Association’s (UA) Committee on COVID-19 released its recommendations to Team 2020 on possible scenarios for the fall semester June 6.
MIT community holds vigil in wake of George Floyd killing
“We can and must legislate the hateful dehumanizing actions of those who are unwilling to check their biases. I stand in support of the peaceful protesters insisting on accountability in the recent killing,” Dozier said, emphasizing that he supports the MIT community’s efforts to build a more “inclusive, equitable, and just future.”
MIT Quality of Life Survey preliminary results released
71% of student respondents described their overall physical health as “excellent” or “good,” compared to 55% who described their mental health as such. When asked how many days in the past week they got enough sleep to feel rested, 20% of student and 32% of faculty and staff respondents indicated fewer than three days.
IS&T makes Microsoft Teams available for MIT community
IS&T is making Microsoft Teams available to “help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 and best support MIT community members as they engage in activities remotely.”
Departments discuss fall teaching scenarios
If only a portion of the student body is on campus, departments could offer “different classes for remote and in-person students with more emphasis on individual coaching and guest speakers for remote students.” Remote and in-person students could also be subject to different grading policies.
Danielle Geathers and Yu Jing Chen elected UA president and vice president
Fiona Chen ’21 and Yara Komaiha ’21 also ran for president and vice president respectively in the first contested UA presidential election since 2017.
Team 2020 offers five proposals for fall semester
Team 2020, a group of administrators and faculty tasked with planning the return to normal campus operations, has offered five proposals for Fall 2020 classes.
‘Tigertail’ is a flawed portrait of an immigrant family
While the film attempts to explore the complexities of a family fragmented by cultural and geographic barriers, its unconvincing character development makes the plot seem forced and the protagonist unsympathetic.
6.145 IAP class to be discontinued
The three-unit IAP class 6.145 (Brief Introduction to Python) will no longer be offered starting January 2021. 6.145 satisfied the programming skills requirement for Course 6 majors as an alternative to 6.0001, a six-unit course offered during the fall and spring semesters.
New Vassar opening delayed, BC may remain open for a semester
Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson wrote in an email to The Tech that “until we know more about the virus’s trajectory as well as the next steps with the City of Cambridge’s construction moratorium… it is premature to predict what will happen” with BC and New Vassar.
A trek to Narnia in the rain
If Walmart were the unkempt and profoundly unmagical wardrobe of my childhood, Buc-ee’s was Narnia.
Students assigned virtual coaches from Student Success Team
The Student Success Team’s overall purpose is to “support the success of students” and “identify students who might be facing challenges adjusting or staying connected.”
MIT Medical provides testing for all students remaining on campus
MIT Medical Director Cecilia Stuopis “strongly recommends” that all students on campus be tested so that MIT Medical can “identify people who have COVID-19 but do not yet display symptoms.”
Class of 2024 admissions rate rises to 7.3%
MIT released its regular action decisions for the Class of 2024 March 14. Of the 20,075 students who applied this admissions cycle, 1,457 students were admitted, making for a 7.3% acceptance rate. Of these, 687 students were admitted early, from a pool of 9,291 early applicants.
First case of COVID-19 confirmed in MIT community
MIT Medical is starting a public health investigation, including contacting the student, following up with their social circle “as warranted,” and “exchanging information with public health officials.”
MIT announces online commencement and future in-person celebration
Reif wrote that “in a world so disrupted by Covid-19,” it would not be possible to conduct the Institute’s traditional in-person commencement, hooding, and Tech Reunions this May.
MIT students petition against virtual commencement
“The ideal alternative... would be postponement of commencement to a later date deemed safe for all students and family to convene in Killian Court, even if that means May 2021,” Choi wrote, noting the “utter unpredictability of the future.”
Majority of MISTI programs suspended for the summer
MISTI Africa, Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Russia/Eurasia, Spain, Switzerland, and Uruguay summer programs have been suspended.
Undergraduates required to move out of dorms and FSILGs by March 17
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, undergraduates living in MIT dorms, fraternities, sororities, or independent living groups (FSILGs) are required to move out by noon March 17. Classes will be canceled March 16–20, extending to spring break, which runs March 23–27. Classes will resume in online-only formats March 30.
Reif announces new travel and events policies in response to COVID-19
MIT will “postpone, cancel, or ‘virtualize’” in-person MIT events with more than 150 attendees, including CPW and “other signature spring semester conferences and celebrations,” the policies state.
NASEM working groups release sexual misconduct prevention recommendations
The new IDHR office will have an immediate impact on students because it will serve as a “centralized resource” for students, faculty, and staff facing harassment-related issues.
ASA changes operating guidelines
Most changes replace outdated policies or formalize existing procedures.
MIT students to vote at Iowa Democratic satellite caucus
Several MIT students will vote at the Iowa Democratic Party satellite caucus at the Democracy Center in Harvard Square Feb. 3. The caucus will begin at 8 p.m.
Seth Lloyd denies he hid Epstein’s identity from MIT, says he followed MIT policies
Lloyd wrote that he “actively inquired about MIT’s proper procedures for accepting donations” from his departmental administrator before putting Epstein’s accountant in touch with MIT officers.
Goodwin Procter report says senior members of MIT’s administration approved Epstein’s donations to MIT
According to the report, Jeffrey Epstein made ten donations to MIT totaling $850,000 between 2002 and 2017.
HMMT reorganizes in response to cultural concerns
The reorganization includes changes in the staff selection process and the creation of a committee on diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
Dorm presidents elect DormCon CPW/REX, i3/RAC, and dining chairs
Zawad Chowdhury ’23 and Shaida Nishat ’22 were elected CPW/REX chairs. Adebayo Ojute ’23 and Ahmed Katary ’23 were elected i3/RAC chairs. Emma Batson ’20 was elected dining chair.
Meal Plan Working Group discusses dining costs at DormCon meeting
The addition of the New Vassar dining hall is expected to increase MIT Dining’s financial loss from $1.6 million to $2.2 million.
Barnhart holds community forum on sexual misconduct
Barnhart said, “To address sexual misconduct is also to address culture and climate issues [in higher education] more generally. You have to have solutions that resonate at the community level, the department level, the student level."
House Democrats propose College Affordability Act
House Democrats proposed the College Affordability Act Oct. 15. According to the Education and Labor Committee website, the act is a “comprehensive overhaul of the higher education system” aimed at lowering costs and expanding educational access for college students.
Targeting tumors with nanoparticles
Since its founding in 1995, the Hammond Lab has been an integral part of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, developing nanoparticles that encapsulate and release drugs to reprogram cancer cells. Chemical engineering department head Paula Hammond ’84, Ph.D ’94 leads research initiatives that range from designing thin films for tissue regeneration to embedding nucleic acids into nanomaterials to silence cancer cell expression.
Results of Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct released
The survey, conducted at 33 universities, contained questions on topics ranging from student experiences of sexual assault to knowledge of campus resources for sexual misconduct prevention and response.
Josh Tenenbaum receives MacArthur Fellowship
Tenebaum's advice is to "take the opportunity to learn from different kinds of people of different ages, especially from the older faculty or people who take approaches from different areas of science."
Goodwin Procter investigation discovers letter signed by President Reif
Law firm Goodwin Procter, which is investigating MIT’s financial ties to Jeffrey Epstein, has discovered a “standard acknowledgment letter” signed by President L. Rafael Reif August 2012 thanking Epstein for a donation to Professor Seth Lloyd. Reif disclosed the findings in an email to the MIT community Sept. 12 about Goodwin Procter’s “preliminary fact-finding.”
Several dorms experience difficulties with new laundry system
Next House President Jessica Tang ’20 wrote, non-functioning dryers and the “shaky support for MIT TechCASH” have resulted in “a very frustrating and poor experience for Nexties.”