CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- MIT Chancellor Phillip L. Clay, responding to the tragic attacks on New York City and Washington, sent this letter electronically to the MIT community:
To all MIT students, faculty, and staff:
In light of Tuesday's terrible and tragic events, the MIT community has a special responsibility to come together, support its members and to address our common feelings of sadness, anger, fear.
We have been considering options for how to proceed for the immediate future. Clearly, business as usual is not possible in the short term. While some have suggested that canceling classes and closing the Institute would be appropriate, we believe that at a time like this, contact between students, faculty and staff is MIT's greatest resource. We need to take advantage of this resource, which would be precluded if we close the Institute.
Therefore, on Wednesday, September 12, classes will be held until 3:00 pm. Faculty have been encouraged to use their class time to address feelings and issues raised by this difficult time. Realizing that some will need to deal with this tragedy individually, absences from class will be excused and some classes may be cancelled. We have strongly encouraged faculty to grant extensions to students who request extra time to complete their assignments.
At 3:00 pm in Killian court, the entire MIT community -- students, faculty, and staff -- is invited to assemble to share our feelings, support each other as members of the community, and draw strength from our common sense of purpose and caring.
I hope to see you there.
Phillip L. Clay