The decision stated that universities have a special relationship with the student and thus a special duty regarding suicide prevention, but the actions of MIT and of the individuals involved in this case did not fall within the realm of this duty.
Graduate students serve an indispensable role in MIT’s community. We teach and mentor undergraduates, generate new knowledge through our research, secure funding through grant writing, produce journal articles, and foster community. However, despite our passion and dedication, our work at MIT can exact a heavy toll on our physical and mental well-being. This is not how it has to be.
We are writing in response to the opinion piece “Graduate student mental health is in crisis” that appeared in the October 10, 2019 issue of The Tech. Authors Jeff Rosenberg, Sarah Cowles, and Nick Selby, writing on behalf of Graduate Students for a Healthy MIT, advocate for creating “a healthier academic environment for [all graduate students] to grow as scholars and people.” We too are committed to that end and applaud the authors for elevating this crucial matter and providing an opportunity to foster conversation—and, most importantly, action.