Outside the Core Classroom

Core students have the opportunity of living in either of two Core residences, both centrally located on campus. The Core Floor is a special community of first-year Core students located within BU’s primary first-year residence, Warren Towers. The Core House is shared by Core students from all four years of their college experience and serves as a hub for film nights, review sessions, dramatic readings of plays studied in Core, and pizza nights. Both residences have a specially designated Core Resident Advisor (RA) who works closely with the Core Office and the Core Housing faculty advisor, and who is available for help advice in matters large and small, Core related and not.

The Core year begins with our annual Fruit Drop: to test Galileo’s proposition that all objects fall at the same speed, we release watermelons and pears, bananas and grapes from a height and see what happens. The Fruit Drop is followed by our Fall BBQ, in which faculty, alumni, and Core veterans welcome the first year students into the program. Here, and in receptions and shared activities throughout the year, students and faculty from first to senior year and from throughout the university meet informally to share their experiences.

The fall sees a variety of Core excursions, from all-Core visits to the Planetarium or the Museum of Fine Arts to activities that selected groups may choose to take part in, such as a trip to view the Dead Sea Scrolls or to visit the exquisite museum of Chinese art in Peabody. In the spring Core faculty and friends host the annual Poetry Reading for students of Core, followed by a general reception, while Core and Classics in collaboration put on the often raucous Aristophanes Reading, complete with cross-dressing, off-color jokes, faculty cameos and a final phallic procession—all true to the spirit of the original.

Spring is also the occasion for students to put together the annual Journal of the Core Curriculum, composed of the best works of analysis, creative writing, art and photography submitted by the student body. The best of these, the best of the best, are also submitted by the faculty to Amphora, the national online magazine of the Association of Core Texts and Courses where BU students compete with Core students from Columbia, Yale, the University of Chicago, and the many other Core programs across the country.

The Core year culminates with the Core Banquet in early May, in which students finishing their Core program are recognized and their achievement celebrated by students from throughout Core, joined by Core alumni, the Board of the BU Philhellenes (responsible for the scholarships for the summer study opportunity in Athens), the faculty, and representatives from the College of Arts & Sciences. Amid skits, fancy dress, and elegant meals, the Banquet is also the occasion for the unveiling of the year’s Core Journal and of the Core T-shirt, designed by each Core class to commemorate its year. The Core Polytropos Awards, recognizing outstanding graduating seniors from Core, are awarded here at the end of the Banquet evening.