Students returning to their Spring 2020 dorm given priority in housing placements

Former Burton Conner and FSILG residents given second priority

Housing and Residential Services (HRS) will prioritize spring dorm placements for students who prefer to return to the dorm they lived in during Spring 2020. Students who lived in Burton Conner or a fraternity, sorority, or independent living group (FSILG) in Spring 2020 will have second priority. Housing assignments will be released by the end of November.

All students living on campus next semester, including first-year students, were allowed to choose “staple groups” of up to eight students in their dorm assignment preferences. Staple groups differ from pods, which are groups of up to six students living in the same dorm who may interact with each other without social distancing.

Director of House Operations Rich Hilton wrote in a Nov. 6 email to undergraduates that staple groups are “guaranteed placement in the same building together” and “may be formed regardless of class year.” 

Hilton wrote in an email to The Tech that dorm assignment priority will be given to individuals or staple groups in which over 50% of group members are seeking to return to the dorm they lived in during Spring 2020. 

Dormitory Council (DormCon) Housing Chair Emily Caragay ’22 wrote in an email to The Tech that second priority will be given to Burton Conner and FSILG residents, and third priority will be given to students who lived off-campus as of March 2020. 

“First years whose groups do not fall into the above categories will be placed last in this priority order, reflective of a standard semester,” Caragay wrote. “Additionally, a portion of each dorm will be set aside for first-years, to guarantee every dorm receives some first-years.”

Hilton wrote that HRS is working to “balance the density and distribution of residents, including first years, across all ten houses (including New Vassar).”

DormCon President Sarah Edwards ’21 wrote in an email to The Tech that DormCon advocated for first years to have staple groups after hearing from “a number of first years” that stapling with other students was “really important to them.” 

DormCon has been “working closely with MIT Housing to ensure that the housing application, timeline, and assignment process is as tailored to student needs as possible,” Edwards wrote. This collaboration spans over topics such as “the building assignment system, the switch lottery, pods, opening safe indoor spaces, and accommodations for SHARP students.”

Edwards wrote that the staple group system “was adapted from the previous system used during FYRE [First Year Residence Exchange] and the fall/spring dorm transfer lotteries, where 4 students could staple together.” This fall, “it was expanded to 8 with the understanding that it was very important this year in particular for students to live in the same building as their close friends.”

MIT community members wishing to learn more about information or policies regarding the spring semester may visit the Division of Student Life Spring 2021 FAQs.