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12.0 Relations with the Public, Use of MIT Name, and Facilities Use

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12.5 Use of Facilities

Institute facilities — such as classrooms, lecture halls, memorial rooms, athletic facilities, and Kresge Auditorium, MIT Chapel, Stratton Student Center, and Walker Memorial — have the primary purpose of supporting the educational program. However, these facilities may also be available for meetings, cultural presentations, entertainment programs, and topical programs that serve to maintain a stimulating intellectual environment. In general, requests for MIT community use will be granted subject to a) the specific priorities and policies established for the requested facility, b) the prior commitments of that facility for regular program use, c) the suitability of the requested space for the particular type of program proposed, and d) the Institute's status as a tax-exempt educational institution. (See Section 12.5.3 for more information on the use of conference rooms, and Section 12.7 Political Action for specific restrictions governing the use of facilities for political purposes.)

Facilities are not available to individuals but only to academic departments, administrative offices, and officially recognized student, faculty, staff, and employee organizations. In addition, under certain circumstances, non-MIT organizations may be sponsored and overseen by any of the above or by faculty or staff members, with prior permission of the appropriate Institute official. (See Section 12.5.1 Use of Facilities by Non-MIT Groups below.)

Official recognition of all student groups (both graduate and undergraduate) is granted by the Association of Student Activities; faculty groups, by the Provost; and staff and employee groups, by the Vice President for Human Resources.

The organization that is assigned a facility for a particular use and time may not change this use or time without obtaining authorization in writing from the official who made the original assignment. The organization may not in any way transfer the use of the facility to another organization.

The nature and extent of all advertising for a properly scheduled meeting should be reviewed with the appropriate scheduling officer at the time a room assignment is requested. For student groups, advertising policy is coordinated by the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education. In all cases, the name of the organization sponsoring the event must appear on advertising, leaflets, posters, and the like. Admission tickets for events on campus may not be offered for sale at commercial booking offices.

In conducting its event, each organization must comply with city, state, and federal laws as well as applicable MIT rules and regulations. In addition, each organization will accept responsibility for conducting its event in accordance with standards of orderly conduct generally acceptable to the MIT community. Requests are granted by the appropriate scheduling offices. (See Section 12.5.2 Scheduling Facilities below.)

Registering Events: All campus organizations conducting an event at which alcohol will be served, money will be exchanged, or attendance will exceed 100 must register the event with the appropriate Institute office. Events sponsored by student organizations or events at which the attendance is expected to be primarily students should be registered with the Residence and Campus Activities Office in the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education. Events sponsored by non-student organizations should be registered with the Conference Services, Events, and Information Center.

Public Audience: Concerts of the various student performing arts organizations, athletic events, and numerous student-sponsored and department-sponsored lectures and seminars produced primarily for the MIT community are often open to the public. However, a sponsoring campus organization must have its request reviewed and approved in advance by either the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education or the Office of the Provost, if a substantial portion of its audience (normally more than 20 percent) is expected to be from outside the MIT community.

Accessibility: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires that when planning conferences, events, and activities, the sponsoring office or department handle requests for accommodations. In registration brochures, invitations, or flyers, the following statement should be used: To request disability accommodation, please contact [name, department, address, telephone].

Regional Meetings of Student Organizations: Campus organizations with counterparts at other colleges may occasionally wish to use Institute facilities for inter-university group meetings. Such requests are reviewed by the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education.

Use Charges: A use charge covers the portion of the normal operating expenses of a facility during a group's scheduled period of use of that facility. Use charges will not be assessed against officially recognized campus groups, because the normal operating cost of each Institute facility has been budgeted on the basis that it will be used in support, first, of its primary program function and, second, of the programs of other officially recognized campus organizations. Exceptions may be made for MIT programs and events designed specifically for audiences outside of the MIT community. (See Section 12.7 Political Action for guidelines on use charges for political activities on campus.) The final judgment on the fee for use of MIT rooms rests with the Provost.

Direct Expense Charges: Expenses that are over and above the normal operating expenses of a facility (such as physical plant, dining, audiovisual services, or special security detail) of a facility and are directly attributable to a specific group will be billed to all users, including Institute offices and organizations.

12.5.1 Use of Facilities by Non-MIT Groups

The Institute opens its facilities to use by non-MIT groups when it is feasible and appropriate in light of the needs and objectives of the MIT community. Individuals who wish to sponsor a professional meeting or conference should, after receiving the endorsement of their department heads, inform the Conference Services, Events, and Information Center. Center staff will review the purpose and basic needs of the conference and seek approval from the Facilities Use Committee, which reports to the Provost.

Requests for facilities for functions cosponsored by an MIT organization and a non-MIT organization are reviewed in the same manner as requests from outside groups. Requests for use of MIT facilities by civic, government, or charitable organizations should be coordinated with the Government and Community Relations Office.

Determination of the feasibility and appropriateness of a particular proposal includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the following:

  1. the extent to which the proposed program is related to any concurrently functioning activity or program on the MIT campus;
  2. the extent to which persons affiliated with the MIT community will participate in or attend the proposed program;
  3. evidence of responsibility on the part of the group sponsoring the proposed program or of persons who are members of such a group or who will be participating in the program;
  4. the direct and indirect costs to MIT of the program; and
  5. the suitability of the available space for the particular type of program proposed.

Typical events held by non-MIT groups include functions of Cambridge and Boston civic, governmental, and charitable organizations and national and international conferences of educational, professional, and student organizations.

Institute meeting facilities are not available for commercial or industrial meetings, or private training programs. This does not, however, necessarily exclude civic action meetings or programs that might be sponsored by a commercial concern or industrial association.

Each outside group must have as sponsor a recognized MIT organization or a member of the Faculty or staff. The sponsor will be responsible for maintaining a continuing liaison between the outside group and the appropriate Institute officials throughout the planning and implementation stages of the event. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to assure that the organization, its members, and the program adhere to the generally accepted academic and communal standards of the Institute. The sponsor is financially liable for the program in the event the outside organization is delinquent in this regard.

Coordination of Conferences or Special Events: Once approval for an event is given by the Facilities Use Committee, the Conference Services, Events, and Information Center staff will work with the MIT sponsor to determine the detailed logistical needs and plans for the conference, and will coordinate all of the MIT services connected with the event.

Accessibility: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires that when planning conferences, events, and activities, the sponsoring office or department handle requests for accommodations. In registration brochures, invitations, or flyers, the following statement should be used: To request disability accommodation, please contact [name, department, address, telephone].

Use Charges: Groups outside the MIT community will be charged for the operating expenses attributable to their use of MIT facilities and services (such as physical plant, dining, graphic arts, audiovisual services, or a special security detail) in addition to a use charge for the room or facility. The final judgment on the fee for use of MIT rooms rests with the Provost.

12.5.2 Scheduling Facilities

The offices responsible for scheduling facilities are listed below; a Facilities Use Committee member assists these offices in making decisions about the use of space.

Classrooms (including lecture halls): Schedules Section of the Registrar's Office; certain lecture halls and seminar rooms have departmental priority.

Conference rooms: Individual academic departments. (See Section 12.5.3 below for more information on scheduling conference rooms.)

Kresge Auditorium, MIT Chapel, Stratton Student Center, Walker Memorial, Religious Activities Center, Tang Center: Office of the Campus Activities Complex.

Athletic facilities: Department of Athletics.

Institute house lounges: During the academic year, the Dean for Student Life delegates responsibility to individual house student governments.

12.5.3 Conference Room Policy

All meeting, seminar, and conference rooms should be accessible by all departments for the purpose of conducting Institute business, with the following stipulations:

  1. Priority, in the following order, must be given to the following:
    1. The department to which the space is assigned.
    2. Meetings of the Corporation (including the Corporation visiting committees, Executive Committee, and other standing committees of the Corporation).
    3. Standing faculty committees.
  2. In general, rooms cannot be reserved more than 12 weeks in advance, except for the following:
    1. Committees with yearly meeting schedules (such as faculty committees).
    2. Corporation visiting committees.
    3. Special events (such as celebrations and conferences) that involve outside participants.
  3. Users have logistical and financial responsibility for returning rooms to their original state. Users who fail to comply may lose the privilege of using shared meeting facilities.
  4. Once a room has been reserved, the reservation cannot be preempted except for extraordinary situations (such as a press conference for a Nobel Prize announcement).

12.5.4 MIT Use of Outside Facilities

Official Institute business is occasionally conducted in private clubs outside the Institute. Some private clubs have discriminatory membership policies or practices. Consistency with the Institute's long-established policy of nondiscrimination requires that no member of the MIT community be placed in the position of having to participate in an official MIT function at a place where he or she would not be welcome as a member. In keeping with this policy, it is inappropriate for official MIT business or social functions to be conducted at Institute expense in clubs having discriminatory membership policies.

Also, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires that when planning conferences, events, and activities, the sponsoring office or department handle requests for accommodations. In registration brochures, invitations, or flyers, the following statement should be used: To request disability accommodation, please contact [name, department, address, telephone].

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