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