Our mission is simple: We are here for students.

DSL and Diversity & Inclusion Mission Statements

We come together for a common educational purpose: to help our diverse community of students thrive intellectually, physically, spiritually, and personally.

How We Fulfill Our Mission: We partner with students, faculty, and staff to develop enriching environments and experiences that promote students’ knowledge, wellbeing, independence, and accountability. As educators, we facilitate opportunities for learning more about ourselves and others, developing the capacity for human understanding, and solving problems in creative and innovative ways. We support students in discovering a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and joy. We call upon members of our community to serve locally, nationally, and globally. We foster a safe, accessible, and inclusive MIT campus and sense of belonging for all. We value shared-governance and collaboration, and lead with integrity, innovation, and a commitment to continuous improvement. (November 21, 2016).

Diversity and Inclusion: As a division that is here for our students, our mission is to attract, hire, and retain talented staff members who represent the diversity of the MIT student body. We strive to provide all DSL staff members with the skills, tools, and support to create and maintain a respectful and responsive environment for living, teaching, and learning. We achieve this by:

  • Creating a climate of inclusion that reflects our division's values and promotes an open exchange of ideas where each voice is heard
  • Advancing DSL's policies, practices, and programming for diversity, inclusion, and equity
  • Promoting DSL staff equality of access, opportunity, representation, and participation within the division and beyond
  • Enhancing the awareness, knowledge, and skill of MIT community members through our work across campus

DSL Goals

Under the leadership of Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy M. Nelson, the Division of Student Life has developed a three-year plan for achieving a series of goals that will enhance the MIT student experience. The goals map to the following division priorities:

DSL Goal Areas












These priorities and goals were developed through a collaborative process involving DSL staff, division leadership, and MIT senior leadership. The letters after each goal correspond to the names of departments involved in the work related to that goal. 



DSL Department Goal Abbreviations

RE = Residential Education
SS&W = Student Support & Wellness
H&OP = Housing and Operations
VC = Vice-Chancellor

A&O = Admin & Operations
D&C = Diversity & Community Involvement
MHH = MindHandHeart
PKG = Priscilla King Gray Center







Goal 1: Student Development and Wellbeing

  1. Strengthen House Team support: S3 Connector, GRT/GRA training, HH Orientation, shared best practice, House life survey [RE, SS&W]
  2. Advance faculty education in student support [SS&W]
  3. Help faculty develop supportive academic environments [SS&W]
  4. Hire AODS director, assess services, develop dept. plan [SS&W]
  5. Integrate health & wellness opportunities [DAPER, HS]
  6. Coordinate support for students with financial need [SS&W]

Goal 2: Residential Life, DSL Spaces, and Dining

  1. Renovate New House W70 [H&OP, Planning]
  2. Add ~450 UG beds & ~450 grad units [H&OP, Planning]
  3. Study UG housing bed gains/losses with hall renovations [H&OP]
  4. Open renovated spaces in dorms, Walker, and W20 [H&OP]
  5. Finalize Pierce Boathouse & Rockwell Cage estimates [DAPER]
  6. Complete Total Cost of Ownership analysis [A&O]
  7. Develop student group funding model [A&O, VPSL, DUE]
  8. Develop five-year facility plan for Student Center [D&C]
  9. Select dining vendor through RFP & hire dining director [A&O]
  10. Undertake facility assessments for FSILGs; explore financial models for West Campus Village [RE, A&O, H&OP]

Goal 3: Welcoming Community

  1. Develop staff and students’ diversity and inclusion knowledge, skills, and awareness [DSL-wide]
  2. Open Intercultural Center in W31 & the Rainbow lounge [D&C]
  3. Review hiring  practices to diversify DSL staff [A&O, DSL-wide]
  4. Enhance LBGTQ training for GRT/GRA, RLADs & AHH/HH [D&C]
  5. Assess climate for selected academic departments & develop improvement plan [A&O, VC & MHH]
  6. Share Athletics Diversity & Inclusion survey and develop action plan [DAPER, A&O]

Goal 4: Graduate Students

  1. Strengthen support services, officer training, and community building for graduate students in residence [RE]
  2. Implement hardship grant funding and explore implementing international student loan program [OGE, VPSL]
  3. Clarify graduate housing need and schedule for adding/renovating graduate housing [H&OP, VPSL, VC]
  4. Transition 70 Amherst to graduate student housing & complete mural review [VPSL, CSL]

Goal 5: Active Learning, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Leadership

  1. Explore curricular connections with public service and community engagement [PKG]
  2. Expand pathways of engagement around social change [PKG]
  3. Enhance student organization group advising, leader training, instruction platforms in Hobby shop [D&C]
  4. Broaden Resident Peer Mentor program to six dorms [RE]
  5. Expand FSILG student leadership training [RE]
  6. Implement OSC external review recommendations [RE]

Goal 6: Leadership and Student-Centered Approach

  1. Administer DSL staff engagement survey to inform goals, and explore implementing staff Impact Awards [A&O]
  2. Implement SEABoard programs: college life leadership series, division retreats, and staff community building [RE, A&O, VPSL]
  3. Undertake review of Religious Life, Administration  & Operations, & Campus Activities Complex/Student Activities [VPSL, D&C]
  4. Develop plan to better steward gifts in support of division’s mission and funding needs  [A&O, DSL-all]