Common Ground: Boston University Orientation and Off-Campus Services

BUEE Common Ground Video on Youtube

Coming from all points on the globe, Boston University students have at least one thing in common, their new home of Boston.  In order to help connect them to the city BUEE, the Office of Orientation and Off-Campus Services, and the Howard Thurman Center for Race, Culture, and Ethnicity designed “Common Ground” as the first BU experience for almost half of our freshman class. Building from the legacy of Dr. Howard Thurman, civil rights leader and former dean of Marsh Chapel, as many as 300 students quickly form groups and head out to learn more about each other and their new home. Led by upperclassmen, these students explore the city in small groups for two hours, then return to campus for a large group debrief.

Common Ground Case Study


  1. The students will be able to meet and interact with other incoming freshmen.
  2. The students will learn how to find their way around Boston, including using the T.


As many as 300 students at a time over the seven weeks of summer orientations, with a total of more than 1,700 students in the course of a season.


Four hours, including the warm-up and debrief in the ballroom.

Get in touch

Hutch Hutchinson
Coordinator of Experience-Based Training
Phone: 617-416-5261