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Letter to the community on "All Doors Open" event

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Kimberly Allen
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Fax: 617-258-8762
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The following email was sent today to the MIT community.

To the members of the MIT community,

Over the last six months, our community has experienced many painful losses, at the undergraduate, graduate and faculty levels.

As we have tried to come to terms with these losses personally, we have had many private conversations. Many of you have probably done the same. But we think it would be helpful now if all of us could take the time together to pause, reflect and connect with one another.

MIT is a big, busy, distributed place, and there is no hall that will hold all 23,000 of us. So we invite you to participate in something that we have never tried before. We are calling it All Doors Open:

Monday at noon, we ask that everyone at MIT stop what they are doing and take 15 minutes or so to remember those we have lost, reflect on how their deaths have affected us and think broadly about how we as a community should respond.

We urge you to open your doors, literally. Gather together — or get up, walk around and engage the people nearby, those you know already and those you don't. If you prefer, we hope you will take the time for focused private reflection.

So that we can capture the wisdom, ideas and energy of the whole community, we also encourage you to share your insights at the following address: Chancellor Barnhart and Faculty Chair Steven Hall will review the comments and share with the community what they learn.

We understand that in some cases, instructors may not be able to allow their classes to participate, because of previously scheduled quizzes or other major assignments which should be held as scheduled on the syllabus. If so, please consider taking some time out of a later class to talk to your students, or to share some time with students after class.

This pause for shared reflection is merely a beginning, and it is not meant to serve as a memorial for the individuals we have lost; however, we think this observance on Monday can be a source of some comfort and hope. And we believe it is an important place to start a significant, long-term conversation for our community.

We look forward to participating with you this Monday at noon.


UA President Shruti Sharma
GSC President Kendall Nowocin
Chair of the Faculty Steven Hall
Chancellor Cindy Barnhart

Press Mentions

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Matt Rocheleau writes about “All Doors Open,” the 15 minutes of reflection being held today for members of the MIT community to pause and reflect upon the community’s recent losses. “We’re asking everyone at MIT to do something we [often] don’t do here, to stop,” says Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart. 

The Tech

Tech reporter Tushar Kamath writes that officials have announced a period of reflection on the community’s recent losses. “This is our way of saying the community does care and we want to be there for each other and provide support to each other,” says Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart. 

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