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Back to School

University resumes normal Monday schedule


As city and state workers continue to dig Boston out from under its fifth biggest snow on record, life on the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus returns on Monday to as close to normal as is possible with snow piled high on streets and sidewalks. Classes will be held as scheduled.

Craig Hill, associate vice president of Auxiliary Services, warns that parking in surface parking lots (Deerfield, Granby, CAS, Guitar Center, 808 Comm Ave, CFA, and Agganis) will be limited until midweek, when snow can be removed. Hill says the parking lots, which are usually 90 percent full, have only 75 percent of their normal space. Commuters are advised to carpool and take public transportation. Street parking is banned in Boston. Hill says crews will be hauling snow from streets, sidewalks, and parking lots for the next several days.

The MBTA says regularly scheduled service will resume on Monday, but warns customers to expect significant delays and plan extra time for their Monday morning commute. Many MBTA bus routes will continue to operate on snow routes as snow and ice are impacting roadways and bus stops.

The BU bus will run on Monday, although perhaps with limited stops. Gary Nicksa, vice president of Operations, says many stops have deep snow accumulations, requiring riders to board the bus in the car travel lane. Updates about the service will be posted to the BUS website and sent to subscribers of the BUS news list.

Administrators report that sidewalks and pathways on both campuses are in good shape, but many alleyways are coated with thick ice and snow, making driving on them treacherous. Peter Smokowski, vice president of Auxiliary Services, warns that the combination of icy alleyways and piles of snow that might obscure pedestrians make back alleys a dangerous place to walk and to drive. Smokowski urges extreme caution for both pedestrians and drivers. Tom Daley, associate vice president for Facilities Management and Planning, says tall piles of snow along Commonwealth Avenue make it very hard for drivers too see pedestrians who enter the street, and for pedestrians to see approaching cars.

BU dining halls are open as usual. The Fitness & Recreation Center will operate on its normal schedule on Monday, as will Mugar Memorial Library..

The storm, which dumped two feet of snow on eastern Massachusetts, left 400,000 people without power, and compelled the governor to issue the first statewide travel ban since the Blizzard of ’78. The ban was in effect for 24 hours, from 4 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Art Jahnke

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

65 Comments on Back to School

  • Rachel on 02.10.2013 at 12:38 pm

    Seriously the sidewalks are in good shape? Have these administrators actually been walking on these sidewalks? Most of them are covered in snow. Good shape riiiiight.

    • B on 02.10.2013 at 1:18 pm

      Wahh wahh wahh. Give me break. You had your day off from clases on Friday! I can’t wait for “Concerned Parent” to chime in here…

    • Rachel_is_Right on 02.10.2013 at 1:29 pm

      Rachel you’re soooooo right.

    • Winter = Snow on 02.10.2013 at 1:50 pm

      You’re free to pick up a shovel, Rachel.

      • Rachel on 02.10.2013 at 2:21 pm

        When I pay $50,000 to go to this school, I consider facilities management part of that sum.

        • Anon on 02.10.2013 at 3:12 pm

          you’re welcome to skip class and waste the money your are paying the school to learn

          • Kyle on 02.11.2013 at 12:08 am

            No, this is ridiculous. There shouldn’t be the amount of snow and slush on the sidewalks and street as there is. Am I saying I want another day off? NO. I’m saying I want all that money I pay to get someone to operate clean up efficiently. One example was with all the snow on Comm Ave today, 5 facilities workers were shoveling out bike racks, empty freaking bike racks, for 3 hours while i was at the gym.

      • B on 02.11.2013 at 9:03 am


        What are you talking about? The conditions out on the Comm Ave are typical of Boston Winter. If you wanted sidewalks and street clear of slush 100% of the time, you should have gone to Miami.

        Would I have gladly taken another day off of work? Sure, but I have to agree with the University Administration that the conditions do not warrant closing BU.

        • Kyle on 02.11.2013 at 10:32 am

          Okay B… Sick name by the way. I have grown up in MA walking to school since 6th grade. There are safety measures to consider as well. You may choose to be the hardo about New England winters but having 70-100 students standing in the intersection of Comm ave and pleasant street because the sidewalk isn’t cleared to stand on and Harry Agganis isn’t clear yet. There would be a different tone once one of us gets hit my a car.

          • SmarterChild on 02.11.2013 at 4:41 pm

            Kyle…You lose credibility as soon as you use the word hardo. Leave that stupidity to El Pres.

            As far as your comment goes…I promise you that Boston University’s sidewalks and streets are clearer then those in other area of Boston and almost any other city or town in MA. Put things into perspective, this was the #5 biggest storm in Boston history.

    • AP on 02.11.2013 at 10:10 am

      BU does not own all of these sidewalks. BU shovels its own sidewalks, but it is not responsible for shoveling the sidewalks that belong to the State Highway Department, etc.

  • bustudent on 02.10.2013 at 12:49 pm

    Will BU buildings be open today (Sunday) for meetings that were scheduled (i.e., my organization has space reserved in CAS tonight).

    • Arthur W Jahnke on 02.10.2013 at 3:38 pm

      Yes, the buildings will be open.

  • A on 02.10.2013 at 1:35 pm

    “Commuters are advised to carpool and take public transportation.”

    Do they not realize that people commute because they don’t have access to public transportation? Get it together BU Parking! I can’t come to work if I can’t park in the one lot where I’m allowed to park.

    • M on 02.10.2013 at 2:34 pm

      I agree with you 100%. Students are only allowed to park in the 808 lot, and according to BU its only 75% cleared. This isn’t fair to commuters. We pay a lot of money to be able to park in that ONE lot.

    • Anonymous on 02.10.2013 at 2:39 pm

      The employee permit works for most lots on campus – why are you only allowed in one? Just park in one of the garages and walk to your office!

      • M on 02.10.2013 at 3:02 pm

        Yes but students are only allowed to park in one lot, and it’s one of the surface lots that aren’t cleared. What are we supposed to do?

        • Anonymous on 02.10.2013 at 3:15 pm

          I was replying to A’s comment about not being able to go to work.

          Yes, your dilemma is much less flexible. I suppose if I were restricted to one lot I would get in touch with the Parking Services Office to see what they were doing to accommodate – I’m sure they will make exceptions in this situation and let you park somewhere else if your lot is full. Good luck!

          • M on 02.10.2013 at 3:24 pm

            That’s what I was thinking, but I’m sure with so many lots unavailable, all of the other lots will be full. They shouldn’t have resumed school until they fully cleared all of the parking lots.

      • B on 02.10.2013 at 5:17 pm

        Like I said below. If you are worried, get in contact with your supervisor and let them know your concerns. There are MANY ways to get to Boston. Park at a commuter rail station and take the T in… You’ll even reduce your carbon footprint for a day….

        • M on 02.10.2013 at 10:05 pm

          1) The MBTA is not going to be fully operational tomorrow. 2)I should not have to pay $10 for a round-trip commuter rail ride (plus parking costs at the T station) when I pay nearly $500 a semester to be able to park in only ONE of BU’s many lots.

          • B on 02.11.2013 at 9:06 am

            The MBTA announced YESTERDAY, that they would be running a full schedule on Monday.

            Yes, some buses are running on “snow routes”, so this means you have to walk a 1/4 mile instead of an 1/8 mile to your bus stop.

            I mean, come on people, let’s take our Pampers off and put our Depends on….

          • @ B on 02.11.2013 at 11:59 pm

            Wow, B. Did the extra day to do your homework get your panties in a twist? Some of your comments are downright nasty to people on this article.

    • A on 02.10.2013 at 6:21 pm

      I am a graduate student so I go to work at BU. I am not taking any classes and I am there from 8-6 every day working in lab and/or teaching. BU Parking does not consider graduate students different than regular commuting undergrads so I am only allowed in the 808 lot. It’s comments like this that piss me off even more. I’d love to park in the lot right next to where I work every day instead of walking a mile after commuting in but that’s not allowed. If I could take public transportation believe me I would.

      • A on 02.10.2013 at 7:03 pm

        Also it’s not that I’m asking for school to be closed. I’m asking for the ability to park where I pay to park. I have work that needs to get done so I’m not looking for a way out of that.

      • C on 02.10.2013 at 10:49 pm

        I can’t agree with A more! We pay almost 100 bucks every months and are just allowed to park at ONE parking lot, which is 15 mins walk to my office.
        Is there any way for us to suggest the school providing more parking lots to students? Or at least they should lower student’s parking fee rather than rise it!

  • Anonymous on 02.10.2013 at 1:45 pm

    Mayor: Boston schools closed tomorrow

    Is school still on?

    • Anonymous on 02.10.2013 at 2:34 pm

      Yes, school is included in the “normal Monday schedule.”

    • K on 02.10.2013 at 2:49 pm

      That refers to Boston public schools, not all schools in Boston. BU is a private institution, they can hold class if they want.

  • south campus resident on 02.10.2013 at 2:23 pm

    has administration been to south campus? because besides the stairs up to the buildings, nothing has been touched. the roads and sidewalks are still inches deep. sidewalks up the the st. mary’s st. bridge and along the bridge are still covered too. this is a dangerous situation.

    • Arthur W Jahnke on 02.10.2013 at 6:02 pm

      Bill Walter, assistant vice president for Facilities Management, reports that crews have been working in the South Campus throughout the weekend with sidewalk plows, snow blowers and hand shovelers to clear the walkways. Walter says drifting snow, street plows and snow from cars being cleaned off diminish the result of his crews’ efforts. He says crews will continue to clear the campus tonight and another crew is scheduled early Monday morning.

  • G on 02.10.2013 at 2:31 pm

    If I don’t have class tomorrow it’s like me paying BU 400$ for a day off… Yeahhh… I’m just going to go learn now.

  • JC on 02.10.2013 at 2:33 pm

    I don’t think there will be significant problems getting over to the Med Campus tomorrow. MBTA and BU Shuttle Bus should be up and running with minimum delays. Just give yourself enough time to get to class and you should be fine.

  • Anonymous on 02.10.2013 at 2:47 pm

    Sick and tired of listening to people complain about the snow and try to get out of work and class. You got your day off Friday! If you are unable to safely make it Monday I’m sure your teachers/bosses will understand. But there is no need to completely close BU down. Believe me it could be a lot worse so be thankful everything is getting cleaned up so well – and also be thankful that your property hasn’t undergone structural damage due to coastal flooding.

  • Kristin RUGGERIO on 02.10.2013 at 3:07 pm

    Any insight on School of Managment Career Fair? Will students turn out? I’m traveling from upstate NY and have a few events scheduled Monday – Wednesday. Beyond my BU Career Services contact – can anyone help?
    Kristin – AT&T College Recruiter

    • Grad Student on 02.10.2013 at 5:17 pm

      I’m sure students will turn out. And in fact, I’m sure it will be the more serious students that will turn out. Everyone is out and about walking to the stores, restaurants, and for general pleasure. So I’m sure, they can walk to the fair! Be safe coming from NY. The roads are not cleared very well. There is just no place to put the snow! I’ve been on the roads in my boyfriend’s all-wheel drive, but we have also stopped to help push less powerful cars out of the snow. Best!

    • Arthur W Jahnke on 02.10.2013 at 7:45 pm

      The fair is on.

    • David Keefe on 02.10.2013 at 10:40 pm

      The fair is taking place as scheduled.

  • Staff on 02.10.2013 at 4:10 pm

    Has BU considered that all of their employees may not be able to safely make it into work? I haven’t had power since Friday night. I have been forced to leave my house, which has dropped below 40 degrees with no heat all weekend.

    • Anonymous on 02.10.2013 at 5:06 pm

      If that is the case, your boss will understand. I already let my employees know that they should only come if it’s safe. The campus won’t implode if some people can’t make it to work. It’s not a particular busy time of year either so I wouldn’t stress if you can’t make it in. Your house and family are more important than missing a day of work!

    • B on 02.10.2013 at 5:14 pm

      Have you let your supervisor know? How is BU expected to stay closed for those few who can not make it into work?. Common sense people!

  • Faculty on 02.10.2013 at 5:04 pm

    I think admin should reconsider this decision.

  • ii on 02.10.2013 at 7:44 pm

    There is a PARKING BAN in the city of Boston in effect tomorrow.
    How then BU officials imagine people commuting to the university tomorrow?
    Isn’t the parking ban in effect in order to discourage travel.
    I think the decision needs revisiting

  • Faculty/staff on 02.10.2013 at 8:03 pm

    Given the weather forecast for tomorrow, I also think it’s a poor idea to ask faculty, who let’s face it don’t live in Boston, to come in especially if parking is going to be tight and parking on Comm. Ave is still banned. Sounds like it’s going to a cluster to me! Canceled my class out of necessity. Also, most public schools are closed so people who have young children are scrambling for coverage. Not a good feeling to let students down but unavoidable in this case.

    • B on 02.11.2013 at 9:07 am

      So you’re suggesting that BU close over a day of “wintry mix”? You had your “bonus” day off on Friday!

  • Me! on 02.10.2013 at 10:46 pm

    So…I have to miss my class now, and a quiz grade/attendance grade because I cannot make it to campus. Given the forecast for freezing rain tomorrow night I am not driving an hour and a half or more both ways to get to class. They need to rethink this because I do not feel comfortable driving.

  • Chris Simons on 02.10.2013 at 11:17 pm

    BU Parking Services is run by unhelpful, nasty people. The parking fees are a complete rip-off considering how much students are already paying, and the ONE LOT (808) in which students can park is usually full of BU Facilities pick-up trucks and various BU vans. Parking Services has half of the 808 garage reserved for BU vans rather than opening up those spaces to paying students. Pathetic.

    • MET Alum on 02.11.2013 at 10:46 am

      Choose to live close and use public transit. Stop polluting the environment with you car.

  • D on 02.11.2013 at 6:09 am

    I am student who commutes and I don’t have a problem with BU’s decision. There are plenty of options available, sure a lot of them are not as convenient as we would like. People have to realize that this was a major storm so there are bound to be inconveniences. These will probably persist for the next month or so (this snow has to start melting some time). There maybe reasons for you not to show up tomorrow (child care, lack of power, didn’t finish homework because you had a snowball fight instead) and that’s ok. Everyday there are reasons not to show up, why should today be any different.

    Those who have to commute use the MBTA to the fullest. With the parking ban in effect there are garages throughout the city that offer discounts (http://www.cityofboston.gov/snow/storm.asp?selNeighborhood=Back+Bay), the site even tells you how many spots are open. I am sure that some of these are near MBTA stops. Those of you complaining about the amount you paid for parking vs the number of slots available should remember what they agreed to when they bought their pass “Purchasing a parking permit does not guarantee a parking space will always be available on campus in the most convenient location”. So plan on leaving early and map out a couple of alternates.

    Those complaining about the cleanup effort really need to take a step back. The school, city and state have done an excellent job of handling this storm. In the past that has not always been the case. It is going to take time to move all the snow. I am sure that BU has assessed the impact of have everyone on campus on its snow removal ability. If this really bothers you then there are schools down south that don’t have to deal with the weather, and some probably cheaper than the $50,000 you paid to come here.

    • Susan on 02.11.2013 at 8:46 am

      Thanks for the tips.

      I just drove in from Framingham, which had 30 inches of snow. The commute was fine. I actually got in faster than usual with all the public schools closed.

      The 808 lot still has room…

      BU facilities, thank you for putting in all the long hours while my fellow students slept cozy in their beds.

    • B on 02.11.2013 at 9:10 am

      This comment should be at the very top of the list. A voice of reason.

    • L on 02.11.2013 at 9:12 am

      Well said!

    • Rosy on 02.11.2013 at 11:11 am

      I have to completely disagree with you on this one. Yes there was a lot to clean up and yes the school has done what they could in the amount of time that the storm hit until now. I was fully prepared and wore my winter boots because I knew there would be lots of snow and slush remaining on the sidewalks and that’s fine. However, it is extremely unreasonable to tell everyone to simply change their entire commute to get to school because they do not care enough to clear the parking lots. My apartment complex cleared the parking lots and trucked the snow elsewhere. There’s no reason for the parking lots to not be fully cleared if school is in session. People pay for parking already and shouldn’t then pay for another lot nearby.

      I have lived in MA my entire life and am fully aware of the impact snow and storms have. The slow commute due to lanes being only half plowed I dealt with. Being told that there is a chance that I have no where to park when I arrive is unacceptable. Being told to find another way to get to school and that I shouldn’t be driving a car and should reduce a carbon footprint is simply rude. Not everyone can live in the city or right outside of it. Some of us have spouses and families that do not need to be in the city every day.

      • D on 02.12.2013 at 5:52 am

        I am not making excuses for them. They were out before during and after the storm removing snow. There are only so many places where they can put it which means shuttling snow out one dump truck at a time and that assumes they have some place to put the snow. Your apartment doesn’t own all of Comm Ave, the side streets, and a campus in South Boston. That’s a lot of snow to remove. Where I live it took the City 2 days to remove the snow enough to drive and it’s still a little sketchy and Storrow Drive was reduced to on lane both ways. The bottom line there is a lot of snow left to be removed. We are going to have to deal with this for a while. The rain yesterday didn’t help and the possibility of snow Thursday and Sunday will probably complicate things even more. If they waited for everything to be cleared you would not be in class until Mid March.
        I commute it in fact the days I have class I commute from RI. Would I like to park right out side my classroom sure but that’s not the reality.

    • Jason Miller on 02.11.2013 at 5:35 pm

      If everyone had your “que sera, sera” attitude about things, we’d be living in a third world country. People like you are always making up excuses for other peoples’ failure to perform. None of the complaints on here are patently unreasonable. Yes, we all know there’s been a blizzard. The complaints on here are AFTER considering that fact. The bottom line is that many places that should be well cleared are still full of snow and slush (such as around the BU bridge). When you are paying a premium price for this school (and $1000 for parking), it’s pretty reasonable to expect a good job. But, BU falls behind in MANY MANY areas, not just snow removal. What you’re seeing is the accumulation of dissatisfaction with the value that students are getting for their big tuition dollars.

      • D on 02.12.2013 at 6:17 am

        Third world country really? Having to modified ones commute to attend a $50,000 education is really a third world problem? Should we expect instant clean up of feet of snow over many many miles of campus? I say yes lets revolt. I am not making excuses but this is the most prepared I have seen the school, city and state for a snow storm. They continue to remove snow and each day it will get better.

        Sorry that your life was inconvenienced for a couple of days. Keep in mind that when you forked over $1000 for parking you acknowledged that “Purchasing a parking permit does not guarantee a parking space will always be available on campus in the most convenient location”. If you feel that this event and other dissatisfaction are not living up to the value you should be getting for you big tuition, there were probably 1000 applicants that did not get into this school because of you and 51 other institutions of higher learning in the Boston metropolitan area. Perhaps one of those would live up to your education expectations. That is the beauty of living in a first world country if you are unsatisfied with the service you are receiving there is always someone or something out there waiting to receive your money. Being conscious of the cost of your education you may want to worry about the ~$300 you missed out on Friday after classes were canceled.

  • Annoyed Student on 02.11.2013 at 8:43 am

    The sidewalks are not shoveled out or in good condition. Walking from West to East is actually dangerous, especially when trying to cross the BU Bridge. I don’t understand why huge chunks of sidewalk were never taken care of, then when it rains today it’s going to be a disaster.

  • hi on 02.11.2013 at 8:53 am

    This snow is nothing you should live in upstate New York

  • S on 02.11.2013 at 9:28 am

    BU facilities had people working around the clock and it’s incredible what they have gotten done, so I would not complain about the clean-up efforts. The parking situation does sound unfair for commuting students and should be a higher priority, but I’m sure most professors will understand if students can’t drive for this reason.

    • Kyle on 02.11.2013 at 10:52 am

      If by “around the clock” you mean not being out on Sunday until 2 and not shoveling comm ave, but spending 4 hours shoveling out EMPTY bike racks.

      • M on 02.11.2013 at 11:42 pm

        Actually, S does mean around the clock, at least on Friday and Saturday. I was out late with friends after the snow ball fight and while walking to and from East Campus from West, to at 9:30 pm, from at 2:30 am, there were facilities workers shoveling and snow blowing the entire time I walked down Comm Ave in both directions.

  • Stop on 02.11.2013 at 4:19 pm

    Please take a moment to think about how hard the facilities people work. I know there was a crew that worked 3 days straight without going home. EVERYONE is struggling to find a place for all of this snow. EVERYONE is dealing with the nuisance of this storm. EVERYONE is doing the best they can. Give them a break already!

  • john on 02.11.2013 at 10:07 pm

    from a bu worker we worked 12 hr shifts and never went home if kids would have stayed in their dorms(no facebook snowball fights..etc) and were not in our way ALOT more would have got done

  • D on 02.12.2013 at 6:31 am

    One think that I think would the situation is a little more transparency. It is obvious from the complaints here on this board that people feel BU is not doing enough. I would like to see a centralized location where I can see the status of snow removal operations (how much has cleared and where) and a plan for the remainder. There should be regular updates posted by the administration. This should be clearly visible from the BU home page. There should also be a hotline for people to submit areas they feel need immediate attention. If one are gets more complaints it probably means that that area should get attention and if there is a reason that that area has not got attention the administration should address it. It seems the area around the BU bridge has been ignored ( I can’t confirm that since I don’t travel there). With all the modern technology available there should be no reason to prevent a system like this.

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