Key Matters Archive

Important, completed initiatives.

70 Amherst Street Mural Documentation: Student art is an important part of the history of Senior House, now 70 Amherst Street (E2). Since the building was reopened in 1997 following a renovation, residents have showcased their creativity in murals and pieces of art throughout the building. Please see this timeline for details on what has been accomplished so far, including steps taken to manage summer storage and to preserve items of importance to the Senior House community.

2017 Dorm Life Survey: In October 2017, the presidents of MIT’s undergraduate residence halls invited residents to participate in the first-ever Dorm Life Survey. A collaboration between DormCon, the Chancellor’s Office, and the Division of Student Life (DSL), this survey gave students living in undergraduate residence halls an opportunity to provide feedback on their on-campus living experience.

​Food & Dining Review: DSL has heard from many students that there’s definitely room to improve MIT’s approach to food and dining, including availability, cost, quality, and choice. A few months ago, DSL engaged the consulting firm Envision Strategies to help us start revamping the current program. Envision has been collecting lots of input from student focus groups, and a committee made up of students, faculty, and staff. Read more, or submit comments or suggestions for consideration in the new food and dining strategy, email

Good Samaritan Amnesty Policy: A special exception to MIT's alcohol and prohibited substances policies designed to encourage students and student organizations to seek medical treatment in cases of alcohol incapacitation, drug overdose, or other substance-related medical emergency by providing protection from the disciplinary consequences of alcohol- and drug-related policy violations which would otherwise occur (see for more information). In order to reduce barriers to help-seeking and reporting, this policy has recently been expanded to cover student organizations and medical emergencies involving prohibited substances. It will also now be applied to individuals who report in good faith that they witnessed or are the victim of a crime or a significant violation of MIT policy (e.g., sexual misconduct, hazing) even though they may have been under the influence of alcohol or prohibited substances at the time of the incident. To learn more, please read the policy  or review this list of  FAQs.

Meal Plan Working Group: Fulfilling a commitment by DSL to strengthen the house dining program to better serve our community and to enhance MIT’s living and learning environment. The working group completed its work in March 2020.

Room-Assignment and Move-In Design Exercise: Chancellor Cindy Barnhart and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson embarked on an exercise with student leaders and house teams to consider ways to improve MIT’s room-assignment and move-in processes. Starting in fall 2018, they met with students, visited houses for study breaks, talked to The Tech, shared updates with all students, and engaged the MIT community in a faculty panel. This page will be updated as the exercise continues.

Student Life Covid Conversations: Meetings of students and staff in 2021 to discuss Covid-19 response.

Student Space Enhancements: These projects undertaken by DSL and partners to improve and increase spaces available to students address a wide variety of needs--from lounges to athletic facilities to an at-cost grocery and cafe--and they represent MIT's significant investment in student community spaces.

We Solve for Fall Pandemic Response: As MIT looked at the complex problem of how to potentially open campus in fall 2020, campus leaders sought input from students on what MIT could look like under a range of conditions and to develop an enriching, special campus experience that strengthed our sense of belonging and advanced MIT’s educational and research missions, all while protecting our community’s health and wellbeing.