West Campus Village

A number of FSILG alumni, students, and staff have been seeking to incorporate planning for FSILGs residences as part of MIT's comprehensive West Campus Planning effort now underway.  This effort is gaining traction as we see that FSILGs can add immensely to vitality of a new West Campus hub.

These are the principles that have guided involvement in this initiative from the very beginning:


What this initiative is . . . . .

  • A voluntary option that will potentially be available
  • A longer range 3-8 year plan
  • Being driven by concerned alumniand students with support of MIT
  • An approach to a unified plan for the ILGs to support the next generation of MIT students
  • A unique opportunity to be part of MIT’s long-range planning

What this initiative is not . . . . .

  • A mandated approach where one size fits all
  • Relief to the short term issues of the FSILG community
  • A completed plan which has the full benefit of student input

Here are some milestones:

December 4, 2017 - Phase 2 Planning Begins
Several dozen alumni and students from interested FSILGs discussed design concepts with MIT staff on December 4. HERE are the slides from that evening. A follow on session will be scheduled in January.

November, 2017 - DSL Visiting Committee Endorses West Village Initiative
As part of detailed examination of DSL policy issues, the Division of Student Life Visiting Committee recommended that this program be pursued as part of the overall West Campus Planning effort.

August, 2017 - Committee Report Released to AILG Community

May, 2017 - Invitation to Participate in Phase 2  - More Detailed Design
Those FSILGs contemplating a possible move to the West Village should now makes their interest known. West Campus Village Steering Committee Chair Steve DeFalco '83 issued this e-mail to the MIT community inviting interested FSILGs to join in the the next phase of discussions and planning for the West Campus Village.

April, 2017 - Discussion on Phase 1 West Campus Village Report

The Phase 1 Final Report authored by the West Campus Village Steering Committee was submitted in late March to the MIT administration. It contains recommendations and rationale for guiding FSILG development on the West Campus. The recommendations of the report were discussed with the stakeholders groups below:

March 31, 2017 - Student Course Project Analysis
Two students taking 1.472/11.344J (Innovative Project Delivery Methods in the Public and Private Sectors) chose to write a paper on about the West Campus Village plans. The two are Alec Heifetz '16 (Alpha Delta Phi) and Ben Claman '17 (Zeta Psi) and their paper outlined possible project delivery methods for this project going forward. Thanks to them both for this critical thinking. The paper and class presentation are in this Dropblox folder.

Jan 21, 2017 - Student Design Workshop
The most recent activity was the Student Design workshop on Saturday, January 21. This session was attended by 28 students and the purpose was to actually experience the constraints and opportunities offered by a typical West Campus campus site. The session was run by two MIT-trained professional architects and also included an update from two members of MIT's Center for New Urbanism who have been involved in developing  the West Campus plan principles. The agenda and material are in this Dropbox folder. The folder also includes the notes from the day, as well as the design sketches from each table. People are invited to comment to west-village-feedback@mit.edu.

January 12, 2017 - Benchmarking Report Completed
The Benchmarking Working Group delivered their Final Benchmarking Report on January 12. The nine person group interviewed 22 colleges and organizations who have done work on housing for independent living groups.

November 6, 2016 - Student Design Workshop
The initial Student Design Working Group was a very productive brainstorming session. HERE is the transcription of the voting on the ideas generated at the workshop.   Items highlighted in green generated lots of interest – 4 or more votes.  Items highlighted in red were vetoed, meaning someone feels very strongly that the item should not be included in the final plan.

In order to get input from the chapters that were not represented at this session, Caitlyn Mason '17 developed a  Google form for feedback. The form also allows people to add more elements. As of today, some 108 responses were received and are compiled HERE.

Foundational Documents
Here are two foundational, key documents on this initiative:
- Presentation of June 8, 2016 at the FSILG Village Kickoff event prior to the AILG Annual Dinner.
- Presentation to the DSL Visiting Committee in November, 2015 resulted in the endorsement of that group to pursuing this option further.

West Campus Village Steering Committee
The West Campus Village Steering Committee has been guiding the effort and these are the members:
Stephen DeFalco ’83 SM’88, Committee Chair; Steve Baker ’84 MAR’88, AILG Chair; David Dellal ’17, former IFC President; Pamela Gannon ’84, Parent ’16, ’18, AILG Parent Outreach Chair; Prof. Karen Gleason '82, Associate Provost; Caitlyn Mason ’17, former Panhel President; Pravina Samaratunga ’18, LGC Speaker; Bob Ferrara ’67, Senior Director, Division of Student Life. As of January, 2017, two new members joined the Committee, Panhel President Ayo Fatunde '18, and IFC President, Robert Binkowski '18.

Please feel free to contact any of these people or to reach out to them at  fsilg-village-steering-group@mit.edu. The West Campus Village Steering Committee generally meets monthly, and minutes from their meetings are HERE.

The major focus of the committee now is to complete and submit a Concept Phase report to MIT's senior administration and the FSILG community by month-end March, 2017. This report will document what has been learned so far and offer specific recommendations on how to begin a Design Phase, which will include those FSILGs who are interested in moving into a West Campus Village.

Also, there are  three Working Groups which have studied develop various aspects of the initiative:
1) The Benchmarking Group seeks to learn from similar efforts at other universities. HERE is their final report.
2) The Sustainability Group is examining finances and related data
3) The Student Design Group is focusing on creating space that is appealing to students

Here are a few documents that further explain this initiative:
- Update of July 28, 2016 for MIT Alumni Association staff
- Email of July 14, 2016 to Faculty who are MIT alumni/ae encouraging their involvement.
- Letter of April 25, 2016 to the FSILG Community outlines the goals and summarizes progress to date.
- Presentation to the AILG Plenary on April 13, 2016 provides even more detail.
Presentation to the Panhel April 2016 is similar to those presented to IFC and the LGC.
- The plan for the East Side of the MIT campus (Kendall Square) is a model for the ultimate result of the West Campus planning effort, which we hope will incorporate this FSILG Village.

HERE is a link to other, historical documents from years past.