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Connect by Chance: Bringing First-Years Together for Fun and Conversation

Students on Kresge Oval

First-years enjoyed food truck fare and lawn games at the kick-off CxC event in September.

As most people at the Institute will tell you, the best thing about MIT is the opportunity to connect with the many interesting people who make up our community. For first-year students still adjusting to the pressures of life as an MIT student, forming connections can be challenging, but a new program called Connect by Chance (CxC) is designed to make it a bit easier. The goal of the program is to bring students into conversation with peers they may not otherwise meet, and it includes a range of event types to accommodate student preferences.

The program, spearheaded by OVC HQ and the Office of the First Year, launched in September 2021 with a kick-off event on Kresge Oval featuring food trucks and lawn games. Students shared predominantly positive feedback via the post-event survey, and 64% of respondents said they “met someone interesting.” Ongoing fall events include a scavenger hunt and Plan-Your-Own Outings, where students are randomly assigned to a group of four and can be reimbursed for a group meal or other fun outing. Advice from current students was critical to making the program inclusive; students helped write a conversation guide and ensured that participants could opt to enter with a buddy.

All members of the Class of 2025 can participate in Connect by Chance through the end of Spring 2022. Plan-Your-Own Outings will be ongoing throughout the year, and other events will include a Game Night on November 8 and the Spring Kick-Off at the Museum of Science on January 30. Students can learn more and sign up to participate on the Connect by Chance website.

— Kate Weishaar, OVC HQ