Helping Students Navigate Challenging Times

Students have shared that they find it valuable when faculty and staff check in and acknowledge when big events happen at MIT and in the world. When possible, they appreciate some time to discuss their feelings and reactions. We’ve compiled this page to help you facilitate these conversations with your students.

Key Points for the Spring 2024 Semester

Below are key points to address recent campus activism in a syllabus or first class discussion (developed by the Chair of the Faculty, Division of Student Life, and Teaching and Learning Lab):

  • Campus last semester was tense, with community members expressing deeply held and sometimes opposing perspectives.
  • The classroom is an educational space. Help each other and avoid creating obstacles to each other’s learning. Protest should stay outside the classroom.
  • Treat your peers as partners in creating the conditions in which you can all learn together.
  • As you interact with me and your fellow classmates, prioritize respect and kindness.
  • Have compassion for the challenges others face and even the mistakes they might make.
  • As President Kornbluth has said many times, think not just about the intent of your words and actions, but also about their impact on those around you.

Tips and Resources