SAO institutes attendee sign-in policy for student group summer events

Failure to turn in sign-in sheets may lead to future event cancellations

The Student Activity Office (SAO) is requiring all student organizations having events in Campus Activity Complex (CAC) managed spaces to record event attendance this summer. 

A sign-in sheet must be turned in to the SAO after the event, noting the name, email address, and MIT affiliation or lack thereof of the event attendees, according to an email sent by the SAO and CAC to Association of Student Activities (ASA) clubs. 

Failure to turn in sign-in sheets may lead to future event cancellations, the SAO and CAC wrote.

The SAO is not planning on continuing to institute the policy during the school year, Leah Flynn Gallant, associate dean for the Student Activities Office, and Rebecca Mae Black, ASA president, wrote in a statement emailed to The Tech.

The SAO and CAC wrote to the clubs that the policy change was made “to address reported concerns around safety, security, and overall capacity during reduced summer hours.” Gallant and Black wrote to The Tech that the change was made to “better understand the makeup of student organization membership” in order to “ensure that the limited funding and space resources available to student groups benefit MIT students first and foremost.”

The SAO only retains data about community affiliation in aggregate. Names and email addresses are not kept, and the sign-in sheets are destroyed, Gallant and Black wrote.

Student groups active over the summer were notified mid-June about the policy change.

Seven student groups have held 48 summer events this year so far. The attendees were comprised of 289 students, 28 faculty and staff, 116 alumni, and 205 non-community members, Gallant and Black wrote.

The SAO and ASA plan on following up with groups who host events with low numbers of MIT student attendees. Gallant and Black wrote that they will talk to such groups about “improving student attendance or student involvement in the planning and execution of their events if they wish to hold them during the summer in future years.”

CAC spaces include the Stratton Student Center, Kresge Auditorium, the Stata Center, MIT Chapel, Religious Activities Center, Walker Memorial, Wong Auditorium, Reservable Outdoor Space, and Kresge Barbecue Pits.