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MIT students, alumni petition school to re-open its ‘closed campus’

"Closing MIT’s campus will diminish the openness which makes MIT the vibrant, collaborative, forward-thinking place that it is."

Students walk past the "Great Dome" atop Building 10 on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, April 3, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. This school seems to be opting to continue its COVID-19 era policy of a campus not widely available to the general public. Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg

During COVID-19, it became necessary for colleges and universities to close their campuses for the health and safety of their students. Now, those same students are asking MIT to reconsider keeping the policy for the upcoming school year. 

A group of MIT students and alumni are asking the school to reconsider this policy via a letter and petition. 

“While reasonable precautions were necessary during the pandemic before full vaccinations were available, closing MIT’s campus will diminish the openness which makes MIT the vibrant, collaborative, forward-thinking place that it is,” read the letter. 

The student who created the petition wrote on Twitter about it. 

As of Saturday, the petition received 977 responses. 

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But what does a “closed campus” actually mean for MIT? 

According to the tweet that inspired this petition, this means a MIT ID or a MIT-issued ticket will be required to enter almost every facility on campus. 

The only buildings open to the general public will be MIT Medical, Welcome Center, Stratton Student Center, and Z-Center Athletic Facility, according to the tweet. 

The school has not changed its campus access page since March 14, 2022, and the access rules are the same as found in the Twitter post. 

Unescorted visitors will require a Tim Ticket, or a visitor pass, and will provide contact information, accept MIT guidelines, submit a daily health form, and provide their vaccination status. If a visitor is unvaccinated they must provide “a religious belief or medical condition that prevents them from receiving the vaccine.”

The petition and the letter vehemently disagree with these procedures. 

Although the letter currently has a few suggested changes by various alumni and students, their point is heard loud and clear. 

“By instituting this unnecessary level of security, it will add a barrier to entry, which will result in MIT being a more closed, insular organization,” reads the letter. 

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