• Amy Laskowski

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    Amy Laskowski

    Amy Laskowski is a senior writer at Boston University. She is always hunting for interesting, quirky stories around BU and helps manage and edit the work of BU Today’s interns. She did her undergrad at Syracuse University and earned a master’s in journalism at the College of Communication in 2015. Profile

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There are 12 comments on Students Voice Range of Emotions about Returning to Campus This Fall

  1. As an exchange student that has just seen the chance of going to BU on Fall semester blow away in one second, I would have loved to experience life on Campus even in this situation. I regret not being able to live in dorms, going to class and explore the city, as many students are preparing to do, after the decisions the University has made to create a healthy system during this pandemic. I would have not been anxious or stressed out because in Italy we are already living with the virus and its consequences in everyday life. I’m very disappointed this wonderful opportunity didn’t go as planned for me, but I really hope that students that can live it will enjoy it and make the most out of it, despite the virus -because other people like myself can’t anymore.

  2. It would seem to me that reactions are all over the map, showing you can’t please everyone. Some students with housing and/or food insecurity need this return to campus. Many of them built a plan around scholarships or loans to live on campus for four years with the plan of their education starting a self-sustaining career. It is important to remember not all students have a comfortable, air-conditioned suburban home to return to and study remotely from.

    I think the administration’s flexible plan is about as good of a compromise anyone can make in this bad situation. I can only imagine the work that is going into putting together those changes.

  3. I am rather disappointed by BU’s lack of a clear plan. Laskowski writes that Brown provided details about “new norms for safe interactions in dorms, dining halls, academic spaces, and labs, as well as widespread testing,” but this is not true. No detail was given at all, only the brief mention that these things will be different. Releasing letters like that to the student body is careless and confusing, and I wish that the “plan” could have been worked out in more detail before causing all of this chaos among students.

    Like for many people, for me, the thought of returning to campus and being able to see my friends and my boyfriend again was a very happy thought, but it didn’t sustain itself. My initial excitement faded as I realized all of the things that will become a problem. I am worried that being constantly afraid of getting sick (which seems inevitable for many students, or else why would we need a new testing center?) will interfere with my education. I am uncertain how I will be able to see my parents for Thanksgiving or Christmas– how am I going to be able to self-isolate for two weeks before going home, when my only source of food is meals prepared by someone else who might also be sick? How am I supposed to avoid stress about contracting the virus when my living situation will involve a communal bathroom that many others pass through and is a space where I cannot wear any protective equipment?

    At the same time, I have the overwhelming feeling that having a choice of in-person or remote classes is not a choice at all, and if I opt for the latter option, my grades will plummet. I am disappointed that there has only been a general address to the university, and that I have not received any word from my particular program.

    I also worry for my professors, many of whom I am sure are not comfortable returning to campus for in-person classes. How many of them will only be offering online classes? If the majority of my learning experience will be online, just like last semester, then what is the sense of living on campus at all, where student life will be limited, dining halls impossible to get into, and a social life impossible without some anxiety?

    Next year, I’ll be a senior. As much as I hate the idea of endangering myself and living in fear, I also hate the idea of missing out another semester of the fleeting thing that college has become. I feel I am severely missing out and have missed out on things that could have been an amazing experience had none of this ever happened, and I’m sure a lot of people share my feelings.

    (Class of 2021)

  4. BU faculty and staff empathize and want very much to support our students through this horrible interruption of their College experience. However it is disappointing that we have heard nothing from the Administration about concern for faculty and staff, who, being older and in some cases immunocompromised, are at much higher risk. Some sympathetic students have created a Letter/Petition addressing this matter – thank you! Please have a look

  5. I understand the lack of a clear plan yet … so much is still in flux that a plan finalized now will inevitably have to be modified. I am concerned both about the safety elements and the quality of teaching elements.

    Safety elements: Even with all the controls, someone with a virus is likely to slip through the cracks between tests. And maintaining 6′ distance is not really enough if we are to be together in a confined space for 2-3/4 hours…

    Quality elements: I believe we would be better served focusing on how to make the online experience as good as it can be by some course-design adjustments – for courses that don’t require labs or hands-on elements.

    The hybrid approach means that the online will likely be pretty similar in approach to the spring – all or mostly synchronous, which is tough for those in other time zones, and as a faculty member, I am not yet sure how I will be able to pay attention to both the online participants and the in-class participants. Surely there will be some form of barrier between me and them, and if we are wearing masks, it will be even harder to read their body language than it is online…

    And of course there is the point often made that while there is Learn from Anywhere expected to be part of this plan, there is not yet a TEACH from Anywhere version…

    There is still time – for me to learn how this might work and might be made safe and effective … and for the administration to consider what exactly we are going to do. I hope there is more discussion along the way.

  6. Since young healthy people are unlikely to get severe symptoms (although worse than the typical flu) or death from COV 19 it would be better for society that they get infected but at a slower rate so as not to overwhelm the health care system . This results in herd immunity which results in protection of young and old.
    This virus will continue to be around and people will eventually get infected. By having public health protocols in place may slow the infection but not prevent it especially in a college environment where social interaction is important.
    The quarantine and social isolation has done more damage than the virus. Most of the deaths, with few exceptions have been in the elderly. People need to get their lives back. This isolation is not good for mental heath.
    The university should designate a dorm floor for those recuperating and provide nursing care
    The university has to make sure students have all their usual immunizations to prevent measles or mumps out break.
    All students, faculty and staff, should have the flu vaccine.
    Their should be no exemptions unless severe reaction to vaccines. LETS MAKE COLLEGE GREAT AGAIN ( to steal a phrase).
    GC CAS 77/80 MD AUC 83

  7. A reminder to students, faculty and staff…. The Center for Anxiety and Related at Boston University is a world-renowned research and clinical treatment program available to those at BU and the general public. Check it out: http://www.bu.edu/card
    Currently offering telehealth!

  8. Not sure, if anyone has answers for my questions:

    1) How is Boston University going to take care of students getting infected by COVID-19?

    2) If a student gets sick and needs hospitalization, how is BU planning to support and coordinate with remote parents?

    3) Is option of in-person classes adding a risk to student’s health as long-term effects of COVID-19 are still unknown?

    4) As BU is taking all precautions, are all faculty members coming to in-person classes? Is it mandatory for all faculty members to show solidarity with all students showing up for in-person classes?

    5) As I am aware of “optional” in-person classes for students. Doesn’t it add a pressure to students to put their health at risk?

    6) What are the differences between “in-person” and “remote” classes? If there is any difference how BU is planning to fill-up the gap? If there are none, then why there are two options?

  9. Not here are the voices of students who don’t believe in masks and social distancing and plan to party like it’s 2019 at their apartments.

  10. In the United States, at least 1,149 colleges and universities have closed so far, affecting over 14 million students. And students who were preparing to graduate this spring are feeling a range of emotions as their college careers come to an abrupt end. 

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