MIT Sloan’s Student Life Office is focusing on inclusive practices and encouraging student leaders to consider inclusion and accessibility in their events.
“We want to model effective behaviors for students and encourage networking opportunities between students and staff and with one another,” said Nicole Willits, Associate Director, Student Life.
The SLO supports students throughout their time at MIT Sloan, with a particular focus on the learning and development that happens outside the classroom. SLO staff help plan and fund student-led social events, encourage work-life balance, and work with leaders of student organizations to help them plan conferences and attend external events.
“We assist students and student organizations with everything from challenges related to food insecurity to funding for conferences,” Willits continued. “Nutrition and networking are important for future business leaders.”
The Student Life team develops inclusive practices for both student leaders and employees. They’re making time to check in with one another to strategize what works, measure these efforts’ effectiveness, and change course as needed.
Additionally, the office has encouraged student leaders to create more inclusive and accessible events by developing a DEI events planning checklist. Modeled on a design from Columbia University, the checklist provides a detailed “how to” for staging events to maximize participants’ enjoyment.
The office also ensures its employees have the tools needed to balance work commitments with self-care. Whether providing time for massages, participating in fun-focused events like ice cream socials or cookie giveaways, encouraging staff to take days off, or ensuring each person feels seen and heard, they’re focused on improving inclusive practices and supporting one another.
“This is a priority for us,” Willits confirmed.