Get advice, discuss a problem, or report an issue

Contents

This page contains information about advising resources; people in the department you can go to with questions, comments, and concerns; resources for talking or working through problems; and places at MIT where you can formally report incidents. 

Quick links to descriptions:

Confidential resources
-- physREFS, VPR, Mental Health and Counseling, Let's Chat, MIT Chaplains, Ombuds Office, MyLife Services

Private Resources: 
-- Graduate student advocate, academic advisors and research advisors, Division heads, Academic Programs Office staff, undergraduate coordinator
-- Office of Student Support Services (S3), Office of Graduation Education, Title IX and IDHR, Commitee on Discipline, Human Resources Officers, MIT Police, MIT Residence Heads of House or RAs

 

Private vs. confidential

At MIT, there are two important designations for offices with regard to sharing incidents: 1) confidential and 2) private. This designation is created so that resources and supports can be identified as quickly as possible:

  • Confidential resources: These conversations are kept strictly confidential and, except in rare, extreme circumstances (including imminent risk of harm to self or others), nothing will be shared without your permission. 

  • Private resources: Offices designated as "private" will keep the conversation as confidential as possible, but if they learn information about incidents of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, or stalking, they may be obligated to report it to IDHR. The committee members may also be required to report serious health and safety concerns to other appropriate MIT departments. However, the wishes of the person providing the information are given full consideration. You may speak with any of these resources about other forms of discrimination or discriminatory harassment and they do not have a duty to inform IDHR of what you’ve shared.

 For learning about which constituency resources are geared towards (student, staff, faculty), please read the resource descriptions further down on this page.

Some of the descriptions of resources are copied from MIT's Institute Discrimination and Harassment Response Office (IDHR) for consistent messaging. Please see their website for more information in discussing or reporting issues.


Private Resources

Offices designated as "private" will keep the conversation as confidential as possible, but if they learn information about incidents of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, or stalking, they may be obligated to report it to IDHR. The committee members may also be required to report serious health and safety concerns to other appropriate MIT departments. However, the wishes of the person providing the information are given full consideration. You may speak with any of these resources about other forms of discrimination or discriminatory harassment and they do not have a duty to inform IDHR of what you’ve shared.

Academic advisors, research advisors, and division heads

Your advisors may be a good first person to talk to for advice or dealing with issues:

  • Your academic advisor
  • Your research advisor (if applicable)

Staff in the Academic Programs Office are good contacts for initial help in navigating resources available on campus:

  • Cathy Modica, Academic Administrator (all students)
  • Sydney Miller, Graduate Administrative Assistant
  • Emma Dunn, Undergraduate Administrative Assistant

You can also contact heads of your research division:

Graduate student advocate

Prof. Claude Canizares is the department's Graduate Student Advocate. He works with graduate students to connect them to resources in the Department and around MIT, and to help them progress towards their degrees and develop professionally. Prof. Canizares is an X-ray astrophysicist who led the Center for Space Research (now the MIT Kavli Institute), served as Vice President for Research, and is deeply connected around MIT. His email address is crc at mit dot edu. 

Undergraduate and graduate coordinators

Currently Professor Lindley Winslow (undergrads) and Will Detmold (grads). 

Office of Student Support Services (S3)

S3 provides advice and advocacy for undergraduate students and acts as a hub of resources, referrals, and information across the MIT community. 

  • 5-104
  • 617-253-4861
  • Monday-Friday 9am-5pm; Walk in hours: Monday-Friday 10am-11am & 2pm-3pm

Office of Graduate Education (OGE)

Staff in the Office of Graduate Education provide advice and counsel on a variety of issues including faculty/student relationships, changing your advisor, conflict negotiation, funding, academic progress, interpersonal concerns, and a student’s rights and responsibilities. They can also help with excused absences. For graduate students.

Staff members are available to meet with students: Associate Dean Suraiya Baluch Assistant Dean Cathleen Collins Senior Associate Dean Blanche Staton

Institute Title IX Coordinator

Sarah Rankin is the Director of the IDHR Office and serves as the Institute Title IX Coordinator at MIT. For all MIT Members.

Committee on Discipline (COD)

The COD is responsible for resolving formal complaints alleging that a student has violated MIT policy. The COD's process is fair to both the complainant and the respondent and affords parallel rights to both parties. COD members who hear sexual misconduct cases are specially trained to be sensitive to both parties and to understand the dynamics of sexual misconduct and other forms of gender-based misconduct. For students.

  • W20-507
  • Tessa McLain, Associate Dean for Student Conduct: 617-258-8423
  • To make an appointment contact Barbara BIele: 617-258-8423 or bbiele@mit.edu
  • Report an incident

Human Resource Officers (HROs)

The HROs are part of HR's Employee & Labor Relations & Compliance area. They have detailed knowledge of MIT's HR policies and practices, and consult with employees, managers, HR professionals in the DLCs, and AOs. Our HROs advise and train on issues affecting work, job performance, annual reviews, training, hiring practices, leaves of absence, discipline, compensation, harassment or discrimination concerns, layoffs, reorganizations, and conflict resolution. If you're an MIT employee with a question about any HR issue, please contact the Human Resources Officer for your area. For faculty and staff.

  • NE49 - 5th floor

MIT Police

Exploratory conversations will be kept confidential to the extent possible. Police reports, with identifying information redacted, may be available to the public upon request. Note: MIT Police involvement is generally limited to complaints of harassment that are of potentially criminal nature, such as sexual assault. For all MIT members.

MIT Residence Hall Heads of House or Resident Assistants (RAs) 

The MIT Residence Heads of House and Resident Assistants (RAs) Maintain the dorm/apartment's living environment. T being attentive to the facilities and reporting any problems, as well as educating residents about and enforcing building policies. For students living in MIT residences.

 


Confidential Resources

These conversations are kept strictly confidential and, except in rare, extreme circumstances (including imminent risk of harm to self or others), nothing will be shared without your permission. 

physREFS

The MIT Physics REFS are Course 8 graduate students here to listen to your problems. We can hear you out, provide a sounding board as you think about possible resolutions, connect you with other helpful resources, practice difficult conversations with you, and help you take action to improve your situation. For students. 

  • To schedule a private, confidential meeting with a member of the MIT Physics REFS, email physREFS@mit.edu, or stop by one of our offices.
  • We offer department office hours for scheduled and walk-in appointments which are advertised in 8-grad 
  • See iREFS to talk with grad students outside the physics department

Let's Chat

Let’s Chat is a program that provides students with easy access to informal, free, confidential consultations with counselors from MIT Medical’s Student Mental Health & Counseling Services. No appointment is needed; just drop in. Meetings are brief (20 minutes), and you and your counselor will determine if additional follow-up is needed. 

  • 4-107
  • See schedule for consulation times

MyLife Services

MyLife Services provides MIT faculty, staff, postdocs – and families – 24/7 access to a network of experts who are available to help with life concerns. You’ll consult with Master’s and Ph.D.-level professionals who offer guidance, share resources, and provide referrals. All consultations are confidential and provided at no cost. 

Ombuds Office

The MIT Ombuds Office helps people express concerns, resolve disputes, manage conflicts, and learn more productive ways of communicating. The Ombuds Office serves as an independent, confidential, neutral and informal resource to the diverse MIT community. Ombuds may breach confidentiality if the Ombuds determines that there is imminent risk of serious harm. For all MIT members.

  • 10-213
  • 617-253-5921

Violence Prevention and Response (VPR)

VPR staff are available to individuals in the MIT community who are looking for help in dealing with sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking and unhealthy relationships. For all MIT members.

  • E23-4th floor
  • 24-hour hotline: 617-253-2300
  • vpradvocate@mit.edu
  • File a Report: MIT encourages individuals to seek assistance for incidents of discrimination and discriminatory harassment

Mental Health and Counseling

MIT’s Mental Health and Counseling Service works directly with students to understand and solve problems. Give us a call. Visits are confidential and easy to arrange. For students.

  • E23, 3rd floor
  • Weekdays: 617-253-2916
  • Nights/weekends: 617-253-4481
  • M–Th, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; F, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Walk-in hours for urgent concerns: M–F, 2–4 p.m.

MIT Chaplains

The Chaplains at MIT, representing many of the world's religions, serve both their own religious communities, as well as the MIT community at large. MIT Chaplains are available for counseling, private talks, and consultation. For all MIT members.

  • W11
  • 617-253-7707