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Campus Life

See You in September

A guide to the first 72 hours of college life


By the time Labor Day rolls around, the average BU-bound freshman has spent months thinking about what he or she’s going to do at BU this year, from making new friends to discovering Boston’s best hangouts. The extra-long sheets and new posters have already been purchased. And the voyage is under way, whether via a cross-country flight or a drive up the East Coast.

But what happens when you get here? Where’s your room key? How are you going to get all that stuff onto the 12th floor of Warren Towers? And what are you going to do before classes start on Tuesday?

We’ve mapped out the first 72 hours at the University (the first 180 hours for those who participate in the First-Year Student Outreach Project, or FYSOP), providing information on what to do, where to go, and whom to ask when questions come up. Click on the slide show above to get a look at FYSOP, move-in, and Matriculation, and read below for links to important offices and centers on campus.

FYSOP: A week of service to the city
August 25–29

Last year, student coordinators of the 18th annual First-Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP 18) brought 573 first-year students to locations around Massachusetts for a week of volunteer work. FYSOP, organized by BU’s Community Service Center, offers freshmen a chance to meet new people and learn more about their new home.

“I knew community service was something I wanted to pursue in college,” Brianna Wehrs (CAS’11) said last year, “and I thought this would be a great introduction.”

FYSOP volunteers select one of nine issue areas — children, disabilities, elders, the environment, gender focus, HIV/AIDS awareness, homelessness and housing, human rights, and hunger — and learn about how it affects the city and its residents. By the end of the week, they will have clocked more than 13,000 hours of service.

Move-in: Scarlet Squad to the rescue
August 30 and 31

More than 100 student volunteers — known as the Scarlet Squad — are on hand to help you with move-in on Saturday, August 30, and Sunday, August 31.

You will have a place to park your car, wheeled carts for your stuff, and plenty of people to give you directions and an extra hand or two. (Just keep an eye out for the ones in red T-shirts.)

And once you’ve settled in, ask your resident assistant or housing office about what there is to do on Saturday and Sunday nights — they’ve been making plans for you all summer long.

Matriculation and Splash: from ceremony to celebration
The Matriculation Ceremony marks the formal start of the Class of 2012’s Boston University career, and it’s the first of just two occasions when the 4,000-plus members of the class will gather as a group. The second — and last — time is four years later, at Commencement.

The faculty and administration of every undergraduate school and college will be present to welcome the first-years, along with President Robert A. Brown and a few upperclassmen. Matriculation begins on Monday, September 1, at 10 a.m. — sharp — in the Track and Tennis Center at 100 Ashford St.

After all the ceremony and solemnity, it’s time for some fun and games. Splash, the annual post-Matriculation party held on Nickerson Field from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., features games, prizes, vendors, music, and a barbecue. Students can meet their classmates, find out about groups and organizations on campus, and get cool gifts and prizes.

Classes start
Tuesday, September 2

Your schedule will be posted on the Student Link, and professors often add the syllabus and a list of required textbooks. A hint from the pros, also known as the Classes of 2009, 2010, and 2011: keep your receipts when you buy books, in case the class you’ve picked doesn’t work out. And don’t oversleep!

Vicky Waltz can be reached at vwaltz@bu.edu. 

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