First years, sophomores, and juniors invited back to campus for Spring 2021

FSILGs to remain closed in spring

All first years, sophomores, and juniors may return to campus in the spring, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart wrote in an email to the MIT community Nov. 2. Students in these class years must live on campus to access campus facilities.

Seniors who live near campus may be given access to campus facilities “in the same way that graduate students who live off campus do now,” depending on public health conditions and the number of students who choose to live on campus, Barnhart added. A final decision will be made by the end of the fall semester.

Health guidelines on campus in the spring will be similar to that of the fall, including beginning the semester with a week-long quarantine period, using the COVID Pass app for health attestments, and testing for COVID-19 two times a week.

Fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups (FSILGs) will remain closed for the spring semester. MIT will maintain its financial support for FSILGs and “work with alumni and student leaders to develop a plan to safely reopen all houses in fall 2021.”

New Vassar will open and Burton Conner will be taken offline in January 2021. The Graduate Tower at Site 4 will open to graduate residents in November 2020.

The Spring 2021 Housing Application opened Nov. 3. Students who plan to live on campus must fill out the application by Nov. 16 and may cancel their housing by Jan. 1 without penalty.

Seniors who face hardships at home or have special circumstances in their visa status can apply to live on campus through the Student Housing Assistance Review Process (SHARP). SHARP for the spring launched Nov. 2 and will remain open until Nov. 5 at noon.

According to an FAQ about the spring semester, housing assignments will be shared with students in “late November.” Students will be able to participate in the residential pod program with up to six pod members.

Similar to the fall semester, the room assignment process will be developed collaboratively by Housing and Residential Services and each house’s Room Assignment Chairs and House Teams. Final room assignments will be provided by the end of January 2021.

The FAQ writes that most students will live in singles, but “two students may be housed together in double rooms where possible.” Students living in singles will be charged the double room rate for the building they live in, and students living in doubles will be charged the triple room rate.

Spring on-campus dining service will be mostly take-out, with some limiting seating options depending on space availability in residential halls and the student center. Students living on campus will be required to purchase a 14-meal-per-week meal plan, which will be subsidized to cost $1,900. 

All ten undergraduate houses have in-residence meal service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Friday, as well as brunch and dinner on weekends. The student center will also have breakfast and lunch service Monday through Friday.

Undergraduate residence kitchens will remain closed in the spring, “with the exception that brief access may be allowed to identified kitchens for the use of sinks, refrigerators, trash barrels for food waste, and microwaves,” the FAQ writes. Additionally, capacity limits and cleaning protocols must be observed, and stoves and ovens cannot be used for routine cooking.

First-year orientation events will be held and more information will become available at “as plans develop,” the FAQ states. Students with questions about these events should contact the Orientation Office or call 617-253-6771.

MIT and the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation will comply with the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference’s Nov. 2 unanimous vote to cancel all winter athletics, according to the FAQ. A decision will be made later about spring sports, including intramurals and club sports.