East Campus Renovation FAQ
This FAQ will be updated whenever new information is brought to our attention. For the official renovation page created by the Division of Student Life, click here. If you notice any errors, please let us know by sending us an email!
Section I: Renovation Info
When will renovation start?
Right after Commencement 2023, and it is expected to reopen in Fall 2025.
Do we have to move out?
What's the scope of the renovation?
It will be a lot. Mainly organization of halls, music and fitness rooms, makerspace, and accessibility improvements.
Will it still be a cook-for-yourself dorm?
What will the ratio of singles to doubles be?
It will be approximately 35-40% singles, with the rest being doubles.
Section II: Alternative On-Campus Options
Where on campus can EC residents move to?
Any other dorm, according to student preferences.
Can students move together?
Yes! Students can "pod" in groups of max 8 students, and two pods can move together. This guarantees students end up in the same dorm, but not necessarily the same exact location inside the dorm.
If two pods choose to move together, are they guaranteed to be placed in the same building?
The housing placement algorithm will attempt to place linked pods together, but if it is unable to do so then the pods will be placed separately.
Where do we put where we want to move?
In the annual Housing Intent form, on the Housing portal.
Will we be guaranteed a room in EC when it reopens?
Yes! If you lived in East Campus during Spring 2023, you are guaranteed a spot when EC reopens, even if you live off campus during the renovation! This is a special exception to the standard housing eligibility requirements, which require those who move off campus or to an FSILG to apply for the waitlist. However, if you take leave between Spring 2023 and Fall 2025 when EC reopens, you will need to reapply for housing. If you are then offered housing through the waitlist, you will receive priority to live in East Campus when it reopens, but you are not guaranteed to be offered housing — the waitlist operates on a first come, first serve basis.
Will we have to get a meal plan if we move to a non-cook-for-yourself dorm?
Section III: EC Community Priorities
What about the cats?!
TL;DR: We'll keep them! If you want to keep one yourself, read the rest of this more carefully. DSL is currently creating a policy for cat owners in EC to move with their cats to other dorms. Currently, it is likely that this policy will allow EC's feline residents to reside in other dorms under the same restrictions as Emotional Support Animals (or ESAs, for short). However, rather than going through the ESA approval process, there will be a separate process to officially designate them as East Campus Approved Cats (or ECACs, for short). The main differences between ESAs and ECACs are as follows:
- The ECAC agreement is only in place for the duration of the renovation. At the conclusion of the renovation, ECACs will no longer be allowed to live in other dorms, unlike ESAs.
- Only cats who live in EC in the Spring 2023 semester may apply for ECAC status, and only students who live in EC in the Spring 2023 semester may be an eponymous ECAC's caretaker.
- Note that the cat must have two (2) backup caretakers to be approved as an ECAC, in case their primary caretaker becomes indisposed or otherwise unable to care for the cat. These backup caretakers do not need to have lived in EC (or on campus at all, for that matter), they just need to love the cat and be able to care for them in the absence of their primary caretaker for an extended period of time.
- There may only be one ECAC per EC resident. A single EC resident may not be the primary caretaker for more than one ECAC.
- ECACs must be cats. Any animals that are not cats or fish must go through the standard ESA approval process to live in a dorm.
- In the absence of relevant labor laws, ECACs may enter an informal agreement with their fellow dorm residents to assist with any pest problems (such as mice, cockroaches, etc) on a voluntary part-time basis.
Note that if a cat (or other animal) is already approved as an ESA, it does not need to go through any additional approval processes to live in a dorm. For more information about ESAs and ECACs, email Disability and Access Services at email@example.com and/or Housing & Residential Services at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, as per MIT's official pet policy.
Will we get storage?
Yes. Since regular summer storage won't be available, MIT will grant all current EC residents $200 of Piece by Piece storage credit, enough for 4 large boxes. If you need more than that, you will need to pay for the rest yourself, but the credit will still cover the first $200.
What about toptionality? If everyone agrees, can we be toptional in the dorm we move to?
Currently, the only other dorm with toptionality already implemented is Random Hall. The process of officially implementing toptionality in other dorms will be similar to how toptionality was first officially recognized in east side dorms. It will require the cooperation of the dorm's house staff, especially the head of house, as well as the unanimous consent of every resident of the floor/hall/living community. Preliminary meetings have been held with the undergraduate heads of house on the subject, some of whom are open to exploring the possibility of toptionality. However, as of March 6th, no living communities are ready to commit to toptionality yet. Some concerns include dorms having house cultures instead of floor cultures, house staff being uncomfortable, and the physical structure of some dorms being less suitable for toptionality (such as open concept lounges and hallways). Implementing toptionality will be handled on a case-by-case basis with living communities and heads of house.
Will murals be allowed in EC?
Sort of. Currently, the plan is for removable mural panels to be provided. These pannels will slot onto rails on the walls, allowing the murals to be easily removed (or moved from one location to another). A demonstration panel should be on display in Talbot. There are plans for some of these panels to be provided to EC residents before and during the renovation, allowing halls to reproduce culturally significant murals (and paint new ones!) that can be placed in EC when it reopens. The rails for these murals will definitely be in the halls, but it is unclear which common spaces they will expand into (i.e. lounges, kitchens, bathrooms). There are no official plans to accomodate ceiling murals or in-room murals.
Section IV: Tier Pricing and Financial Aid
Will EC be Tier 1 pricing after the renovation?
How will that impact financial aid?
Financial aid is calculated based on a double in a Tier 1 dorm with the most expensive meal plan. So, financial aid will not be affected, but the amount of financial aid you will spend on housing (in lieu of a refund) might be.
Can returning residents be "grandfathered" so they don't have to pay Tier 1 rates?
Section V: Miscellaneous Information
What residence hall will be renovated after East Campus?
No official decision has been made yet, but it will likely be a Tier 3 or Tier 2 dorm.
Where can questions be redirected?
Questions about the renovation may be emailed to email@example.com.