Frequently Asked Questions

If my student is having an issue with their roommate or residence hall assignment, who should I call? Should I call, or should my student call?

Your student should first get in contact with their Resident Assistant (RA). They can provide initial resources about the situation. If the situation is an emergency with facilities (for example, a flood in their bathroom), they should contact their hall office during daytime hours and the RA on call within their building at night or on the weekends. If your student would like to change their assignment, they should contact Housing.

In all of those above situations, it is best if the student initiates and follows through with the matter since they are physically on campus.

My student needs to miss time due to illness or a family emergency.

You or your student should contact the University Service Center, who will help walk you through both short- and long-term leaves from the University.

My student is not connecting and seems lonely.

Many students go through periods of adjustment during their college years. If your student is not connecting and they seem not to know where to turn, there are many resources. You can alert their Residence Hall Director to your concern by calling or emailing them. You may also contact our office via a phone call (617-353-4126) or email, and one of our staff members will help.

My student got a notice for jury duty in Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts, inhabitants of the Commonwealth for more than 50 percent of the year (which college students are) may be called for jury duty. This is not a situation the University can intervene in. You may contact the Massachusetts Office of the Jury Commissioner at 1-800-843-5879 or 617-338-6409.

I am unhappy about our financial aid package. How can I appeal through the Dean?

Financial Assistance is responsible for student’s financial aid packages. We recommend working through their appeal process prior to contacting us. If you have done so and would still like to get the Dean’s office involved, please write an email detailing the situation to Please provide your contact information in the email.

Is my student on Dean’s List? Why didn’t my student make Dean’s List?

The Dean of Students does not administer academic Dean’s List honors. (We know, that seems misleading. We apologize.) That responsibility belongs to the individual schools and colleges. If you have questions regarding Dean’s List honors, contact the Academic Advising offices within your student’s school or college.

2 Comments on Frequently Asked Questions

  • To the Dean of Students:
    I have been reading the Boston Globe Spotlight series the past 2days and was not aware of the tragic circumstances and very high risk situation of overcrowded off-campus housing for BU students. I realize this happened a year ago but w details coming out now I think the university should respond and let us know what has been done to prevent another similar tragedy. And of course we have read of other deaths related to drinking or drugs at off-campus parties. My son is finishing his junior year at BU and will be moving off campus next year. What can you tell me and other parents so we can trust that our kids will be as safe as possible while they are students at BU? I realize you cannot oversee adult students who choose to live off campus – but you have some responsibility. If there is not enuf housing you cut back enrollment! If landlords are breaking laws that the city won’t enforce you should pressure the city. You should check your database for student addresses – if you find 10 or 15 students at the same address you should review the situation and report the landlord! There must be something you can do!?

  • Hi Janice –

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. The University does many things every year to promote safe off-campus living for students. We have an Off-Campus Services department ( that helps students find safe apartments off campus, and provides them living tips to maximize their safety in those units. We also have a fair every year in February to get important off-campus living info out to students who choose to live off campus.

    In addition, we work with the city’s inspectional services unit around high off-campus move-in periods, and if we learn that a student’s apartment in uninhabitable by the city’s standards, we offer assistance to those students.

    Finally, the University has enough housing to accommodate every undergraduate student.

    This is not to say more can’t be done – several offices within the University are looking at the issue extremely closely to see what else we can do surrounding this topic. We understand off-campus living is attractive to some members of our student body for a wide variety of reasons (cost, desire for increased independence, proximity to jobs and internships), so it may be something we always have to contend with, but that doesn’t mean we will stand idly by.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our office.

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