Report an Incident/File a Complaint

What to do when you have an issue or situation with another MIT student

Complaints or incident reports that allege MIT students or student organizations have violated Institute policy should be directed to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards ("OSCCS"). Complaints against MIT faculty and staff should be directed to Human Resources.

How to report a situation:

If you are considering submitting an incident report or making a complaint against a student, we encourage you to meet with staff in OSCCS to discuss the situation, review the process, and answer questions you have. You can meet with us without reporting the situation so that you may learn about your options, or you can meet with us to make the report. To make an appointment, email or call 617-258-8423.
You can also report a situation without having a meeting if you would like, using our online form. Please complete as much of the form as you can and be as detailed as possible when writing about what happened. Someone from OSCCS may or may not follow up with you if we have additional questions.
When reporting a situation, consider the following:

  • Focus on the facts.  As much as possible, describe someone’s behavior (example: “The other student raised their voice to a level I would describe as yelling”) rather than what that behavior led you to conclude (example: “The other student was angry.”).
  • Include the names of all individuals involved in the incident. The narrative should focus on specific information about an individual's role in an incident.
    • If there is more than one individual involved, list them all in one incident report.
  • The discipline process is designed to determine if a student is responsible or not responsible for alleged policy violations. To the best of your ability, identify the policies you believe were violated.  OSCCS can assist you with understanding the policies, but providing an initial list is helpful.
  • If there is any documentation (emails, screenshots, photos, course assignments), include these in the incident report.


Q. What happens after I submit the complaint?
Staff from OSCCS will review the report and may contact you if necessary. If you are contacted, staff will review the information and ask any clarifying questions. If the OSCCS determines that the report contains potential policy violations that require follow up through the Committee on Discipline (COD) process, the complaint will be shared with the student alleged to have violated policy (the respondent). Staff will meet with the respondent. You can learn about that process here.

Q. Does the respondent have to know I reported the incident? 
Anonymous reports limit the ability of the OSCCS or COD to respond due to the inability to confirm or verify the information presented without attribution. If you are considering submitting a case anonymously, we suggest you contact OSCCS staff to discuss your case prior to submitting the report.

Q. Is there a deadline for filing a complaint?
Generally, cases should be submitted as close to the incident as possible, so the details are fresh in your memory and the behavior can be addressed quickly. Sometimes, however, complainants may want to wait until some time has passed or their circumstances have changed.  In those cases, consider writing down the details of what occurred for your own future reference.  Please note if you are concerned about the respondent continuing to contact you, we can provide you with information about a no-contact order.

Q. How much detail do I need to provide?  What if I cannot prove the respondent violated MIT policy?
For the respondent to be found responsible, MIT requires that a case meet the standard of evidence known as "preponderance of the evidence." This essentially means that evidence needs to demonstrate it is "more likely than not" that a violation occurred. You do not need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the respondent committed the alleged violations, but the evidence needs to indicate it is more likely than not that they did so.

Q. Can I find out the outcome of my complaint?
Not always. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also known as “FERPA”) protects the confidentiality of discipline records. Some exceptions apply for cases of sexual misconduct; for those cases the person identified as a victim/survivor would be informed of the outcome. 

Q. Can I submit evidence with my case?
Yes, you may submit photographs, emails, and other evidence. If evidence includes an illegal and/or dangerous item (e.g., drugs, weapon, etc), that should be turned over to MIT Police for appropriate storage. Photos can be submitted as attachments. You can also take a screenshot of any computer-based evidence.

Q. This is very stressful for me.  How can I get help managing that stress?
Feeling stress about this is not unusual.  We encourage those involved in the conduct process to seek support from deans, advisors, housemasters, GRTs, friends, and MIT Health: Mental Health and Counseling.