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Services available during holiday closing

While the MIT campus will be closed for 11 days in December and January as a cost-saving measure, some services will be available for people who must be here during that period due to the essential nature of their work.

Most administrative offices will be closed from Thursday, Dec. 25 through Sunday, Jan. 4, just as they usually are on weekends and holidays. This means people should plan ahead if they require assistance from administrative areas (for example, processing a visa, obtaining an ID card or a key) that have to be completed in December or early January.

Research in some laboratories will need to continue, so basic services to ensure the health, safety and security of people working in those labs and other campus locations will be provided.

While the Institute is encouraging departments, labs and centers to make every effort to allow employees to take the time off, this may not be possible in every instance because of critical research and/or operational needs. In units where staff are required to work during this time, Human Resources officers will work with their areas to come up with alternate solutions. For example, it may be possible for an employee to take another day off either shortly before or after the end of December.

Those other days off should be scheduled between now and Feb. 29. If this isn't possible, the Institute's pay policy for special holiday closings applies. It may be found at

Graduate student research assistants who take this time off are not expected to count the special closing days against their vacation time. Graduate students should talk with their supervisors about what works best for their particular lab or research group.

Service departments such as the Environment, Health and Safety Office, Facilities, MIT Medical, Housing and MIT Police will have staff on campus during the closing period, as they do on weekends and holidays. These areas also have procedures for dealing with emergencies during times when the Institute is closed.

For an up-to-date list of services available and hours during MIT's closing period Dec. 25, 2003 through Jan. 4, 2004, please refer to the Finances web site

Heat and utilities

All Institute buildings will be provided the same level of power, heat and chilled water that they normally receive on weekend days. Buildings with animals are never "powered down" to that lower level. However, if a researcher must conduct an experiment in a different space, he or she should contact Jim Wallace in Facilities ( or 258-0753) prior to the closing to arrange for necessary utilities.


MIT Police will have staff on campus during the closing period, as they do on weekends and holidays. Where possible, building exterior doors will be locked for the personal safety of community members and the security of building property. All doors with electronic locks will be set to "holiday" mode, meaning that they'll be locked if they're normally locked on Institute holidays. Alarms will be set to holiday mode as well. This means people who intend to come into offices or labs during the special closing period should make arrangements with their supervisors ahead of time to ensure that access will be possible.

Environment, Health and Safety Office

From Dec. 29-31, the EHS Office will have basic services available, including hazardous materials support services such as chemical, radioactive and bio/sharp waste pickup. Bio/sharp waste is managed in collaboration with Facilities and preplanning for this service is happening now. EHS also will have some staff available on campus to assist with spills and accidents.

For non-police, non-medical emergencies such as fire alarms, spills, utility emergencies and other related problems there will be at least one Institute incident manager on campus during business hours.

Office of Sponsored Programs

OSP will have a senior staff member in the office for emergencies only on all five of the special campus closing days (Dec. 26, 29, 30, 31 and Jan. 2). See for information on who will be on duty each day so calls are directed to the right number. "Emergencies" include proposals with deadlines during the shutdown period, but they do not include routine business that can reasonably be handled beginning Jan. 5.

Laboratory supplies

For lab supplies, the VWR stockroom in Room 56-070 will be open for walkup business only (no deliveries) on Dec. 29-31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For questions, contact Kristen Shikes, MIT's purchasing agent for the VWR partnership, at 253-8393. BOC Gases will have someone on campus for the same three days in Room 56-020. Since special arrangements will need to be made in advance for gas deliveries, personnel who expect to need BOC products during the campus closing period should contact John Jordan at 253-4761. For other questions about BOC Gases, contact Andy Barnes, MIT's purchasing agent for the BOC partnership, at 253-8362.

Mail services

The shipping rooms in buildings 3 and E19 will be open to receive packages and pickup of urgent packages from Dec. 29-31. Mail Services will sort all incoming mail, which will be available for pickup at Building WW15. Some limited delivery of time-sensitive packages and/or mail may be prearranged through Mail Services by calling 253-6000. More information from the Department of Facilities is available at

Custodial services

Building Services will have custodial staff providing service during all three shifts, but at a reduced level. Staff will clean specific restrooms and corridors, concentrating in areas where people are working. Trash in lab spaces will be removed during the special closing period, but cleaning services and trash pickup will not be provided in offices, seminar rooms, classrooms or lecture halls.


Payroll and check distribution during the campus closing will be handled as follows. During the week of Christmas, checks will be distributed in the normal way on Dec. 24. During the week of December 29, weekly paid employees (service and support staff, hourly paid students and voucher employees) who do not have their checks deposited electronically will be able to pick them up in the lobby of Building NE49 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Dec. 31. However, those checks will be dated Jan. 2 and cannot be cashed until then.

For monthly paid employees (faculty, other academic staff, administrative staff, sponsored research staff, research assistants, teaching assistants and graduate fellows) payday will be Dec. 31. Those who do not have their checks deposited electronically will be able to pick them up in the lobby of Building NE49 that day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This includes graduate students who normally pick up their checks in Student Financial Services.

Anyone who elects not to pick up their check on Dec. 31 may do so on Monday, Jan. 5 after 11 a.m. at their regular location.

For departments concerned about submitting weekly time sheets and payroll vouchers, more information about the deadlines and procedures will be available in early December.

Controller's Accounting Office

A detailed chart with schedules and procedures for the campus closing is at Procurement will have a staff member in the office on Dec. 29-31 to assist with emergencies.

Housing and dining facilities

Residence halls will be open as they usually are during holidays, and Housing will provide a core group of staff to ensure normal operations. Details are available at

Some of the on-campus dining facilities will be open; the schedule is posted on the Campus Dining web site at All dining operations will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.


Saferide will operate on a normal schedule, but there will be no Tech Shuttle service during the campus closing. The Parking Office will be closed, and all parking lots will be unattended. Details about distribution of MBTA passes are still being worked out.


Barkey, Dewey, Hayden (Humanities and Science) and Rotch libraries will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 29-31.

Athletic facilities

The athletics facilities will be open on Dec. 29-31 and Jan. 2 from noon to 7 p.m, and on Jan. 3 and 4 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 19, 2003.

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