MIT’s Disciplinary Process for Incidents Related to Israel-Hamas War

How is MIT’s disciplinary process handling incidents related to campus tensions stemming from the Israel-Hamas war?

The Institute’s well-established disciplinary process is guiding MIT’s response to reports from students, staff, faculty, and others related to campus tensions about the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. 

RECEIVING REPORTS. Most reports have been submitted to the Institute Discrimination and Harassment Response (IDHR) office, with a smaller number submitted to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS) or via the MIT hotline. Some reports concern individuals’ behavior, while others focus on the actions of organizations.  In many instances, multiple parties have reported about a single incident or event.  

Some of the reports MIT has received are descriptions of conduct that the reporting party has raised as a concern, but for which they have not requested that MIT take action or pursue disciplinary complaints. In addition, many reports have been submitted anonymously and/or do not identify the person responsible for the alleged behavior, which necessarily limits MIT’s ability to follow up on them.  

REVIEWING REPORTS. For reports alleging MIT policy violations by identified students or student groups, the faculty-led Committee on Discipline (COD) is responsible for reviewing and resolving the case. IDHR would also be involved in investigating the facts of any cases alleging discrimination or discriminatory harassment. In reviewing reports, IDHR and the OSCCS consult with other relevant units, including the Division of Student Life, Human Resources (HR), and the Office of General Counsel, in order to triage cases promptly and fairly. Depending on the nature of the report, OSCCS or IDHR may reach out to the reporting parties to determine whether they wish to pursue a formal complaint. The Institute itself may also initiate a complaint. 

RESOLVING FORMAL COMPLAINTS. Under the COD rules, cases that move forward to the formal complaint resolution process can be resolved either:

  • administratively by the COD chair, or
  • after a hearing before a panel of COD members in cases where the sanctions being considered include:
    • suspension or expulsion of students, or
    • suspension or derecognition of a student group.

For more information about the COD process, please visit the COD website

For reports alleging policy violations by employees, which includes staff and faculty, the case will be resolved based on the position of the employee and the nature of the conduct, as described in Policies and Procedures Section 9.8.

STATUS OF CASES. As of February 23, 2024, 32 cases are in various stages of the complaint resolution process (inclusive of cases that have been resolved).

CONFIDENTIALITY. We understand that some members of our community would like more detail about how cases are addressed and resolved. COD rules (and for cases concerning individual students, federal law) and MIT policy require that disciplinary cases be handled confidentially. As a result, MIT’s practice is not to share details about specific cases with the MIT community while the COD or HR processes are ongoing or after they are complete.