Initiatives With MIT
Over the past three years as we pursued the planning effort, the AILG Strategic Planning Committee found that many of the plan’s major initiatives cannot be accomplished without significant involvement by – and often support from – the Institute. To successfully complete them, the following plan initiatives, listed in descending priority order, require the active participation by the Division of Student Life (DSL) or other MIT departments. Further, once these initiatives are underway, most will require sustained involvement and oversight by and follow-through from institutional staff to sustain the vitality of the FSILG community:
- Participating in and endorsing the MIT-FSILG Relationship Framework document, which includes expectations set forth for one another by the Institute, students, and alumni. This document is the product of plan initiative 2.1.
- Supporting the creation of and engaging with a future Orientation/Recruitment Review Committee to provide oversight and institutional guidance on the recruitment programs for the three student councils. The proposed committee is part of the ongoing work associated with plan initiative 4.1.
- Studying potential sites for the possible relocation of multiple FSILGs to new housing built in Cambridge. Such a “Greek Village” on or near the campus would address initiatives 3.1, 3.3, and 3.5, and may also address initiative 3.4.
- Providing assistance with housing survey costs and administration to effectively evaluate the FSILG living option and offer an ideal student experience at MIT. A system-wide update of the 1997 VFA facilities survey was anticipated in initiative 3.1 as a way of benchmarking current conditions relative to on-campus housing options. Unfortunately, there was no consensus within the FSILG community about the need for a system-wide survey at this time; several groups are undertaking their own surveys using a Request for Proposal template developed for the strategic plan. If DSL wants a system-wide survey to proceed, it will have to provide financial and administrative assistance and political encouragement.
- Exploring how the campus dinning program might be made more flexible to support off- and on-campus FSILG students. The FSILG Strategic Planning Committee sees the opportunity for significant community-building benefits to all parties as envisioned in plan initiative 1.4, but the students have not been supportive.
- Supporting Faculty Advisor appointments to student governing councils in order to emphasis the importance of faculty involvement within the FSILG community. This idea supports plan initiative 2.3.
- Considering an FSILG Housemaster or an equivalent role, to assure that FSILG students have access to the same faculty resources and assistance as those in the residence halls. This idea supports plan initiative 2.3.
The following strategic planning initiatives that require MIT participation and assistance are either well underway or have been completed:
- Addressing FSILG lease challenges in MITIMCo-owned properties to resolve long-term planning and leaseholder rights concerns (initiative 3.5). There has been significant progress in this area; senior MIT officials have been briefed and are now meeting with the affected FSILGs.
- Extend MIT’s “Odyssey” student database to include residents of FSILGs (initiative 2.2). There has been steady progress in integrating the FSILG membership into this new residence tracking system.
- Install fiber-optic network connections to Boston FSILGs (initiative 3.1). This has been completed; all but three FSILGs now have 1GB fiber-optic access to the MIT network.
- Clarify the role and responsibilities of the Resident Advisor (initiative 2.4). The committee’s recommendations are being implemented in fall 2014.
- Resolve frictions in the in the relationship between the FSILGs and Association of Student Activities over recognition issues (initiatives 1.1 and 4.3). These issues have largely been resolved.
- Develop FSILG fundraising infrastructure/support (initiative 5.4). Significant progress has been made, and the MIT Annual Fund is working to make more resources available to the FSILGs.