Over the past few months, Chancellor Eric Grimson and Ombudsperson Mary Rowe have been spearheading an initiative to establish a new community space on campus. Its aim: to advance the principles of “sympathy, humility, decency, respect, and kindness” that MIT President L. Rafael Reif articulated in his 2013 Commencement address.
Now the Office of the Chancellor and the Ombuds Office have announced that this new space, dubbed the MIT One Community Room, has officially opened.
The room — located in Building 8, room 219 — is intended for committees, clubs and working groups to use for community-oriented meetings, and for members of the MIT community in need of a quiet or private space.
The room’s community-based mission derives from the “One Community” theme of President Reif’s 2012 inaugural address — which emphasized that MIT is a community that brings people together from diverse backgrounds, with varied interests, to collaborate in advancing the Institute’s mission of serving the nation and the world. In his inaugural remarks, President Reif said, “We must find new ways to make sure that everyone who earns a place here can feel — as so many of us already do — that MIT is their home.” The MIT One Community Room is a step in that direction, the room’s organizers say.
President Reif expressed his support for the new space, saying, “At MIT, our sense of community comes from sharing lofty things, like our distinctive mission and values. But it also comes from sharing everyday things, like time and lunch and conversation. The MIT One Community Room will be a practical resource and a wonderful asset for helping us stay connected with each other.”
Room 8-219 — previously used as one of many women’s lounges on campus — has long been associated with community. But, in recent years, it has fallen out of use. In discussing potential new uses for the space with a number of community-based offices on campus, organizers agreed that the room should be reimagined with an eye towards inclusiveness.
The Margaret Cheney Room (the Women’s Community Center) and the Women’s Lounge — in Room 10-384 — are both important resources designed solely for women. But the MIT One Community Room will serve as a home for the broader MIT community.
The Chancellor and Ombuds offices will jointly manage the room, which may be booked by anyone with an MIT ID. Details and rules of usage are available on the MIT One Community website.
The space will be open seven days a week, all year, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. With the exception of certain midday hours — when the room will be open to anyone with an MIT ID — a reservation will be required. Parties interested in reserving the room may complete a brief form on the MIT One Community website or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, anyone interested in coordinating an art competition to decorate the room’s walls is invited to write to email@example.com.