Glossary of Terms


Area Director (AD) – The Area Director is an experienced student affairs professional who supports a specific residence hall community. The ADs live on campus and work in tandem with the Heads of House to provide student support, crisis response, leadership development and mentorship.


First Year Residence Exchange (FYRE) – Lottery process for first-year students who are interested in switching to a new residence hall during the week of Orientation.


Graduate Resident Advisor (GRA) – Formerly known as GRTs, GRAs are full-time MIT graduate students who live in the undergraduate residence halls and provide crisis response and support for students. GRAs play a vital role in the house community, establishing community standards, providing mentorship and guidance for residents.


Heads of House – Heads of House and Associate Heads of House are typically junior or senior faculty who, along with their families, live in each of the residence halls and lead the house team. They take part in the life of the residents, bring their personalities and professional experiences to the community, and contribute to every aspect of residential life. Perhaps, most importantly, Heads of House serve as more experienced advisors, counselors and problem-solvers.


House Operations Managers – House operations managers, along with their team of housekeepers and maintenance staff, oversee the daily maintenance and operation of each facility. Many house managers have a special relationship with their residents and contribute broadly to the life of the residence.


In-House Room Selection – Residence halls go through a process called “in-house room selection,” an evening of events and activities designed to showcase the different communities within each residence. You’ll have the chance to look at all of the floors, meet the residents, and decide where in the building you may be most comfortable. Each building runs their internal process a little differently, but everyone does their best to get you to a comfortable space in the building. 


MedLINKs – Peer advocates that connect other students to the services of MIT Medical. Find out more.


Room Assignment Chairs (RACs) – Students elected by the house government who coordinate the room assignment process in each of the residences.


Resident Exploration (REX) - REX (Residence Exploration) is a series of campus-wide events hosted by the various residence halls that help give you a close-up look at MIT’s residential system. All new students are invited to visit the residence halls, meet upperclass students who live there, and experience the different communities first-hand.


Student House Governments – Student house governments are an integral part of residential life at MIT. Each residence hall and its government reflect a unique culture and student experience. The students work closely with each other and the house team in a variety of capacities, from planning and coordinating events and room assignments to student advocacy and conflict resolution. Each house sends representation to DormCon.