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One of our macro goals in the community is to retain the talent that we gather here at MIT from around the world. The more students are integrated into the life of the wider Cambridge/Boston community while they are here, the better. As such, encouraging them to live off campus can help achieve that goal.

A New Financial Model, Cost reduction strategies, Education & Facilities, Physical spaces, Global Implications of EdX, Beyond the residential campus


Disagree - student interactions are CRUCIAL

While I can see that retaining talent is important to MIT's mission, I disagree that encouraging more students to live off campus is the best approach.

The student interactions and friendships from my time at MIT are one of the *most* valuable parts of my MIT experience. I believe that MIT's residential system does an excellent job of promoting those connections and friendships, by allowing students to sort themselves into dorms and FSILGs each with a different character. You have the chance to really fit in with a group, in a way that many MIT students have never experienced in high school.

Furthermore, it is exactly because of those intense friendships and connections that I still live in Cambridge today. If MIT wants to retain more students after graduation, they should continue to promote student interaction on campus.

In my mind, a better lever to retain students is *professional* integration into the Boston/Cambridge community. Let's be honest - many many students leave to NY and SF, because the jobs are there. If MIT really wants to retain students after graduation, then MIT must work harder to introduce students to the professional opportunities in Boston.

There should be a balance

I'm not sure if it's a good idea to encourage undergraduates to live off campus or in unaffiliated housing arrangements in large numbers, but there should be ways to encourage students to interact with the broader Cambridge/Boston communities in more substantial ways. Undergrads are still growing and developing personally and professionally, and there are many benefits to maintaining a close-knit on-campus community while beginning to expand into new areas.

A widespread internship program at various companies, similar to the UROP program, would be a way to integrate students into the wider community while expanding their ideas and career aspirations. Internships would likely help to encourage students' growth and independence and deepen their understanding of how their education fits into their adult lives.

I felt that MIT was a very insulating environment while I was an undergrad. It was comforting in a way and allowed me to make deeper connections that I might have done if I had not been so closely associated with the school, but I didn't have many experiences outside of MIT, and I certainly wasn't aware of all of the cultural and professional opportunities available to me in the greater Boston area.

Completely disagree

By far the most important part of my experience at MIT was living in my fraternity with my brothers, many of whom remain my closest and life-long friends. In truth, between the demands of MIT and my life at the fraternity, I didn't have any particularly close relationship with Boston or Cambridge. So what. I'm sure that they are nice places, but there are lots of nice places. What makes MIT special is MIT people, not Boston or Cambridge. If MIT were to be picked up in its entirety and moved to Chicago or Tulsa or Bakersfield or for that matter Tel Aviv or Singapore, it would still be MIT. Disperse its people in a large city, and it would no longer be MIT.