A Guide for BU Students On and Off Campus as Remote Teaching and Learning Begins
Tips for technology, staying connected, retrieving belongings, and more
For students at Boston University, today, Monday, March 16, marks the beginning of something that no other students have experienced in the 181-year history of the University: a mostly empty campus with teaching and learning being done remotely from offices, living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms around the world because of the fast-spreading coronavirus.
There will be bumps, without question. There will be questions, for sure. Patience will be required of everybody. Here is a short guide to help students navigate through these uncharted waters and first few days as smoothly as possible.
Who do I contact if I’m having trouble accessing a class online?
Contact the IT Help Center at email@example.com or 617-353-HELP (4357). The Information Services & Technology (IS&T) team will either answer your questions directly or get you to the appropriate resource. Also see IS&T’s website, which has tips and links to assist with remote learning.
Will remote learning continue even if in-person classes resume?
As of now, remote teaching and learning classes are scheduled through April 12. If regular classes resume after that time, remote learning will be suspended.
How can I connect with other students who are staying on campus?
While University officials are asking students to practice social distancing, there is a group chat through GroupMe for students staying on campus.
What about international students in F-1 status or students in the J-1 Exchange Visitor program?
The F-1 Visa program normally does not allow students to remain in the United States if they are doing online education. In light of the virus, however, the government is providing flexibility so students with F-1 Visas will be able to switch to remote learning temporarily. J-1 students in the Exchange Visitor program will also be able to transition to remote coursework temporarily. Contact the ISSO at firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions regarding your visa status.
If students who are on campus have questions about health symptoms they are worried could be coronavirus, what should they do?
Students should contact Student Health Services by following these instructions to send a message to a nurse.
For those on campus, will the BU Shuttle (BUS) continue to run?
The BU Shuttle (BUS) will run its regular daytime service from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 20. Additional information on service changes effective Saturday, March 21, until Monday, April 13, will be forthcoming.
The BU Shuttle operator has implemented the following precautionary steps for the health and well-being of passengers and drivers: all buses are being thoroughly cleaned/disinfected daily, and all buses are equipped with alcohol-based sanitizer dispensers or wipes available for passenger and driver use.
Are the BU dining halls open?
Yes. The dining halls at West, Warren, and Marciano Commons will be open daily, from 10 am to 9 pm, through April 12. At the GSU Food Court, Rhett’s, Panda Express, and Starbucks will be open daily. Check the BU Dining website for a complete list of what is and isn’t open and updated hours. The City Convenience stores are also open at this time. Over the next few weeks, there may be more meals-to-go offerings, no self-service, and disposable utensils, but food will always be available.
What about Mugar Memorial Library and FitRec?
Mugar Memorial Library will be open Monday through Thursday, 8 am to midnight, Friday and Saturday, 8 am to 11 pm, and Sunday, 10 am to midnight. Find hours for other libraries here. FitRec will be closed for personal fitness and recreation from March 16 until April 13. All recreation programs and activities that cannot be offered remotely will be canceled during this period. Students enrolled in physical education (PDP) courses will be emailed instructions for course participation during this period. Find additional information here.
If I am worried about finances or have questions about my campus job, who can I contact?
Contact Financial Assistance at email@example.com, or call 617-353-2965.
Will the University be offering any refunds to students right now?
At this time, the University will not be refunding room and board charges for students who choose to stay off campus until April 13. While students are strongly advised to attend remote learning classes from their homes until at least April 13, the BU dorms and dining halls remain open for those who choose to stay on campus or are unable to return to their homes. This refund decision will be reevaluated if BU extends its COVID-19 health precautions and remote learning beyond April 13. Students experiencing financial hardship should contact the University Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 617-358-1818.
What if I left books in my dorm room? Is there any way to have things shipped to me at home?
The University Libraries are working with faculty to provide digitized versions of necessary textbook materials for use by students who cannot access their textbooks. Students may ask their faculty to request this assistance from the University Libraries if they have difficulty gaining access to their textbooks.
Is there a place where I can store my belongings?
For now, students who live on campus can keep their belongings in their dorm rooms.
Answers to more questions can be found here.