Margaret Cheney Room History

MIT's Women's Community Center (3-310)

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The Margaret Cheney Room was founded in 1884 in recognition of the fact that women have traditionally been denied a safe space of their own, especially in the STEM fields. In light of its founding mission, the Cheney Room exists to promote community and empower all students at MIT who experience gender-based systems of oppression. This includes (but is not limited to) self-identified women, transgender women, and non-binary individuals.

margaret cheney room



Women have been an important part of the Institute since Ellen Swallow Richards, the first MIT woman student, graduated in 1873. Women-identified students now make up over 45 percent of the student body, and there are a number of student organizations led by and dedicated to women-identified students.

To learn more about the history of women at MIT, visit these sites:

Access to the Margaret Cheney Room

To access the Margaret Cheney Room, you will need card reader access through your MIT ID. In order to get access, please email with your full name, your MIT email address and your MIT ID number.

Margaret Cheney Room Programming

Events and Programs

Cheney Room staff serves to plan events and programming that will support community and learning for the MIT community and to support students at MIT who experience gender-based systems of oppression. Programming includes free lunches, speakers from MIT offices that support students, and sessions with alums and industry leaders. If you have an idea for Cheney Room programming, please email

Get Involved

Reserve the Cheney Room for an event for your student group.
If you would like to contribute ideas to make the Cheney Room a more supportive space for the MIT community, please email