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Campus Life

Charles River, MED Campuses Will Close at 5 p.m. Monday

Blizzard projected to bring dangerous winds, low temps, up to three feet of snow


Updated, 3:22 p.m.: updates in bold below

As an approaching blizzard threatens to bring 75 mph winds, frigid temperatures, and up to three feet of heavy wet snow to the Boston area, administrators have announced that the University will close at 5 p.m. on Monday and will remain closed on Tuesday. All normal academic and administrative activities scheduled to take place on the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus have been canceled. Classes on the Medical Campus will end at 4 p.m. today, but the clinic at the School of Dental Medicine scheduled for this evening will be held as scheduled.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency effective immediately and has put a travel ban in effect beginning at midnight for all nonessential personnel, and the city of Boston has imposed a parking ban starting at 6 p.m.

University employees in essential services must report as scheduled. Essential services include, but are not limited to, Boston University Police, Facilities Management & Planning, Dining Services, Mail Services, Student Health Services, Environmental Health & Safety, and the University switchboard.

FitRec will close at 5 p.m. tonight, but the George Sherman Union will remain open until 9 p.m. Libraries will close at 5 p.m., with the exception of Mugar Memorial Library, which will remain open until 7 p.m. All student club-related activities and varsity athletic events are canceled.

Clinics at the School of Medicine and the School of Dental Medicine have been canceled for Tuesday. For updated information about the Medical Campus, call the weather/emergency hotline at 617-638-6886 or visit the BUMC emergency communications website.

When classes resume, it will be on the regular class schedule. Whether or how canceled classes are to be made up is at the discretion of individual faculty members.

All three residence hall dining halls, at 100 Bay State Rd, Warren Towers, and Claflin Hall, will remain open tonight and tomorrow. A schedule for other local restaurants is available here. Residence Life’s hall/area offices will be staffed during regular business and evening on-call hours.

Late-night BU bus service (the BUS) will end at 9 p.m. this evening. The BUS will not operate Tuesday or Tuesday night. Changes to the BUS schedule will be posted on the BU Shuttle website. Shuttle updates are also available on Twitter at @BUShuttle. The MBTA is expected to maintain regular service on Monday, but will be shut down on Tuesday.

Student Health Services will be open until 6 p.m. on Monday and will be closed on Tuesday. Students in need of health services should call the emergency line at 617-353-3575.

All University parking permit holders and departmental vehicles should park inside one of the following covered/garaged facilities, beginning Monday afternoon:

  • 808 Commonwealth Avenue garage
  • 575 Commonwealth Avenue garage
  • 730 Commonwealth Avenue garage
  • Babcock Street garage

Vehicles left in any surface lot during a city-declared snow emergency will be towed at the vehicle owner’s expense. Garage facilities other than those listed above (e.g., the School of Management, Warren Towers, and Agganis garages) will not be staffed during the blizzard, so access to vehicles may be limited.

Students who find themselves at risk during the blizzard should call the BU Police Department at 617-353-2121.

Students are urged to refrain from using candles in the event of a power outage. Residence halls will have a limited supply of flashlights available for students. Those students living off campus should make sure they have smoke detectors and flashlights and batteries for both. BU’s safety website details the University’s fire regulations and fire safety advice. Students living off campus who experience power outages, leaks, or other weather-related problems are urged to contact the owner of their building or their residential management company. See related story for more information.

Because the wind chill will drop temperatures below zero, students are advised to stay indoors. If it is necessary to go outside, do not walk on roadways and stay off the ice on the Charles River.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning in effect from 7 p.m. on Monday to 1 a.m. on Wednesday. The storm will begin late Monday afternoon and continue through Tuesday, with the heaviest snowfall late tonight and Tuesday morning. Winds gusting up to 75 mph will bring whiteout conditions on Tuesday morning and afternoon.

Greater Boston residents and commuters have been advised to get off the roads once the heavy snow starts falling today and to remain at home until the storm subsides. “Travel may become impossible and life-threatening,” according to a National Weather Service forecast discussion reported on the website Weather Underground.

In a statement Sunday night, Governor Baker said, “Unless forecasts change between now and tomorrow evening, people across Massachusetts should presume that roads on Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday, will be very hard, if not impossible, to navigate; that power outages are a distinct possibility; and that most forms of public transportation may not be available.”

BU Today will continue to provide updates as they become available.


28 Comments on Charles River, MED Campuses Will Close at 5 p.m. Monday

  • Max on 01.26.2015 at 11:49 am

    When will we be notified about night classes tonight? Saying “after 3pm” is really vague and doesn’t leave much, if any, time for planning. Seems a bit silly that there’s a question about cancelling tonight’s classes or not. The “blizzard warning” from the national weather service begins at 7pm, a good 2 hours before my 6pm class ends.

    • BJ on 01.26.2015 at 12:11 pm

      Agreed. I’m about an hour away from campus, and that doesn’t leave a lot of room to plan. Here’s hoping for an earlier decision, or at least a crisper time.

      • Max on 01.26.2015 at 12:20 pm

        Me too, BJ. Long commute, and I have to leave for BU Med campus at 3pm to find parking and get to class on time. It would be abundantly helpful to know whether I’m risking the scary commute for a purpose.

        The governor just declared a state of emergency effective immediately. Lets hope that the powers at be at BU realize that they just need to pull the trigger either way so we can know what to expect..

    • Aliana Wood on 01.26.2015 at 12:16 pm

      If I was you, I wouldn’t show up, especially if you live off campus. Public transportation will probably be shutting down or slowing down tonight, so it may actually be impossible for you to get here if you don’t live on campus already.

      • Max on 01.26.2015 at 12:26 pm

        I hear you Aliana, but what do you do when you have a class with a professor who docks your grade when you don’t show up, not to mention then having to catch up on all the materials missed? It’s unfair and it puts me, and many other students who live off campus, at a big disadvantage.

    • Dr. Matt on 01.26.2015 at 1:49 pm

      I agree that BU has been slow to reach a decision about when the university will close tonight. I have had numerous students contact me about whether our class will be held tonight. The official word is that it is up to the administration to make the decision. Numerous other colleges and universities have already decide to close b/n 3 and 6 pm. What do they know that BU does not? Evening classes tend to be comprised of commuters and NOT on-campus undergrads, so it would seem to be a very easy decision to make at this point with the National Weather Service having already issued a blizzard warning.

      • Dr. Matt on 01.26.2015 at 2:05 pm

        I guess they listen to us here on the comments section…they announced the closure tonight just minutes after my post ;-)

        Good decision BU! Everyone stay safe and warm!

  • Saeedeh Salimianrizi on 01.26.2015 at 11:52 am

    Is School of engineering closed on Tuesday Jan 27th?


    • David Keefe, BU Today on 01.26.2015 at 11:56 am

      Yes it is.

  • Kelley on 01.26.2015 at 12:10 pm

    To add on to Max’s question – when will we find out if North Campus (Chelmsford) night classes are cancelled, for either Monday or Tuesday night?

    • John O'Rourke, BU Today on 01.26.2015 at 12:25 pm

      All campuses, including the North Campus in Chelmsford, will be closed on Tuesday and Tuesday evening.

      • Kelley on 01.26.2015 at 1:32 pm

        Thank you for confirming that classes will be cancelled for Tuesday evening (at Charles River and North Campus locations), John! – Kelley

  • Meg on 01.26.2015 at 12:11 pm

    I am also hoping that BU will make a decision on this evening’s classes by 3 PM or earlier. As a commuter student, I will be en route to my 4 PM class by 3 PM or earlier, especially if I need to take public transportation rather than drive. Even an early closing for graduate students whose classes begin at 4 PM would put us in a snarl of traffic at the beginning of the storm anywhere after 5 PM.

  • Melissa on 01.26.2015 at 12:15 pm

    I agree with Max – there are many students in my 6-9pm class who commute from New Hampshire or central Massachusetts, and it seems irresponsible to have them driving home in blizzard conditions. Waiting until 3pm (or later) to announce this decision could really inconvenience those folks commuting from further away.

  • Dan Weiner on 01.26.2015 at 12:25 pm

    Please make it explicitly clear whether the Tuesday closure includes MET, just for clarity for all my students.

    • David Keefe, BU Today on 01.26.2015 at 12:56 pm

      Boston University’s Charles River and Medical Center Campuses will be closed Tuesday, January 27th for the entire day. All normal academic and administrative activities (e.g. classes, seminars and meetings) that are scheduled to take place are cancelled. This holds true for every school and college on these campuses (MET, etc).

  • Ellen on 01.26.2015 at 12:28 pm

    I agree with what others are saying. I have to commute to and from my 4 – 7 class tonight, and need to make travel arrangements. It would be helpful to know before 3 pm or at 3 pm whether I will have class at 4. I need to leave at 3:15 to make it to class.

  • Yujing Wang on 01.26.2015 at 12:28 pm

    My class starts at 4 pm and ends in 7 pm. Does that also count as evening class? Could the decision been made earlier?

    • Julie Sandell, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs on 01.26.2015 at 2:36 pm

      Your class ends after 5 PM, so it is canceled.

  • Kat Cornetta on 01.26.2015 at 1:00 pm

    The George Sherman Union will close tonight at 9pm and be closed all day on Tuesday. For updates on the GSU, please follow @BU_FYI and @saoBU on Twitter.

  • Stephanie Kalina on 01.26.2015 at 1:32 pm

    When will students in MET be notified on campus closure tonight? There is a parking ban in effect beginning at 6pm and I am concerned the MBTA will either shut down or be severely delayed for students.

  • Julie Sandell, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs on 01.26.2015 at 2:13 pm

    Classes scheduled to end after 5 PM are canceled. If a class is scheduled to run from 4 to 6 PM, for example, it is canceled.

  • Stephen Turco General Manager Barnes & Barnes on 01.26.2015 at 2:19 pm

    Due to today’s storm, the bookstore will be closing at 5:00 pm today and all day tomorrow. We expect to open at 12:00 pm on Wednesday.

  • Stephen Turco Barnes & Noble on 01.26.2015 at 2:26 pm

    The Bookstore will be closing at 5 pm today and all day Tuesday.

    • Joe Schmoe on 01.26.2015 at 3:28 pm

      So if I am in MET and taking a night class that starts at 4 pm, knowing there is going to be a city-wide parking ban and that the MBTA is going to cease operations eventually, can I come in after 5 p.m. to browse thru your clearance section for a textbook for a class I may take this summer? I mean you’d think that BU would allow me to prepare despite the inclement weather – geez…

  • shawn on 01.26.2015 at 6:32 pm

    do we have class on Wednesday?

    • Art Jahnke, BU Today on 01.26.2015 at 6:35 pm

      That decision will be made tomorrow.

      • Kelley on 01.27.2015 at 7:47 pm

        When the decision is made – can you please call out specifically if classes are cancelled for both evening and day classes? Thank you!

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