Three new comprehensive web sites have been launched this month to help the MIT community navigate and understand this constantly changing community of 20,000 people.
"Lifesites" is designed to provide quick access to the hundreds of services, activities, programs and groups that support personal, family and community life at MIT.
"Newcomers' Frequently Asked Questions" provides answers and questions to help spouses and partners (and students, faculty and staff) who are new to campus or to the United States.
"The Evolving MIT Campus" tracks the progress of each of the 11 capital building projects on a weekly basis through imagery, maps and commentary.
"Lifesites" is designed to serve students, staff, faculty, alumni, retirees, families and others in the MIT community. It is the culmination of more than a year of collaboration among MIT's network of human service offices, sponsored by the Human Resources Department and coordinated by the Family Resource Center. More than 60 offices and activities and 350 web links are represented on the site.
"We are excited about this because it puts in one easy place a whole array of services that support individual and family needs of all our employees and students," said Vice President of Human Resources Laura Avakian. "You can go through many links; it is very user-friendly. Frankly, it's very impressive to see all these services listed in one place."
The "Newcomers" site notes that it "was designed to help you, a spouse or partner of a new student/scholar at MIT, begin your new life in the MIT community." The web site is a guide to the complexities of establishing a new home: housing, shopping, immigration, health, money and banking, medical, transport, Boston, child care and parenting, working, education, and groups and activities. The site is coordinated by the volunteer group spouses&partners@mit, which is part of the Medical Department.
The "Evolving MIT Campus" web site was announced last week by the Department of Facilities' Capital Projects Group. The site can be reached from the "About MIT" section of the MIT home page.
A much-expanded source of news and information about MIT's ambitious building initiative, the site includes an interview on the capital program with President Charles M. Vest.
Construction updates remains an important part of the web site. The goal is "to keep the impacts of this period of physical growth to a minimum, to be informative, and to be responsive to community needs while they are questions rather than problems."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 12, 2001.