Breakout room feedback, MIT EECS DEI Town Hall December 2021

    1.      The CDEI should meet with the various student groups across MIT such as the BGSA, BSU and the UA as there are many EECS undergrads in those groups and we will be able to hear their views and advice.

    2.      Faculty find it hard to understand what the climate is like and what the daily experience may be of a student. A recent student survey was completed by the UA and the results will be coming out soon. The survey focused on what life has been like during the pandemic. We will watch for the survey results and share broadly to our faculty.

    3.      During the grad student visit days, we regularly organize the DEI panel discussion with only grad students participating. Perhaps we should organize a similar panel for undergrad students. It was suggested to have such a panel during the undergrad visit weekend also, which is April 7th, 2022.

    4.      Would it be possible for EECS to support and help create other affinity groups particularly at the undergraduate level? Perhaps we can confer with the IEEE student group in our department for their advice of what may be needed or helpful.

    5.      The hope for the new DEI program director is to support the various EECS student groups, but also would it be possible for the program director to help support transitions and to recruit the new set of student group leadership as rotations in leadership take place? Recruiting new student leadership is quite challenging and takes additional time.

    PhD student check-in – wondering about faculty and student impressions

    Used to do this in CSAIL – it allowed faculty to check-in especially on students who were “falling through the cracks”

    Especially important to focus on giving/receiving feedback well

    Faculty opinions of this opportunity are positive – a chance to talk about things that wouldn’t necessarily come up otherwise

    Important for faculty to take this seriously and convey that to students

    PhD students said it “felt like a black hole” – spent a good deal of time filling in information and felt like it was never addressed. Some students have said it would be useful if there was an option for the discussion to be moderated. For students in stressful advising situations in particular, this might be especially beneficial.

    What ways are there for students to report/ask for help with trouble with their advisors? Should the deparment formally check-in with PhD students via eg, a survey, once a year?

    make undergrad plan more equitable and inclusive.

    curious to learn more about thriving stars.  is it more dept-led
    (admin), or are students more involved?
    are people’s voices constrained?  are we not hearing from people in
    the MIT population?  increase percentage of population we’re hearing
    concern about people being afraid to speak, as self-reported.  we need
    to reassure people that we are tolerant of them expressing their

    dei crowd, versus free speech crowd.  want to huddle-up with like
    minded people.  then hash out talk.  but if don’t have a process, then
    we have people living in fear.

    surprised by level of distrust from various entities within MIT.
    perception that everything happens in a top-down way.

    grad students well integrated into course 6.  while undergrads haven’t
    be asked as much or directly to ask what has been improved.
    they’ve tried to get a peer mentorship program off the ground.
    undergrads feel their voices aren’t been heard/represented.

    wants better facilitation of (undergraduate) student organizing.
    and has been in conversation with

    ability to speak up and to listen, how does it compare academia /