• Art Jahnke

    Senior Contributing Editor

    Art Janke

    Art Jahnke began his career at the Real Paper, a Boston area alternative weekly. He has worked as a writer and editor at Boston Magazine, web editorial director at CXO Media, and executive editor in Marketing & Communications at Boston University, where his work was honored with many awards. Profile

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There are 4 comments on Thanksgiving Advice for BU Students: Stick Around, Have a Safe Friendsgiving

  1. To be clear:

    BU administrators have asked literally every single person at BU to keep the BU community first and foremost in their minds since the pandemic began. The administration’s proposed Thanksgiving protocols are not outrageous, considering the continuation of the pandemic in the US, but this article/Dean Elmore and President Brown’s framing of these protocols is incredibly insensitive to the situation of the vast majority of BU community members who will need to follow them.

    Undergraduate students came across the country for a full-priced, full-campus experience that could not possibly have come to fruition under the present circumstances. For many of these students, this is the first time they have lived away from their families, and forging meaningful friendships with other students has been made even more difficult by social distancing guidelines, masking, and an acute anxiety about health and safety standards. The suggestion that students stay on campus to celebrate Friendsgivings ignores both of these facts, and demonstrates the administrative ignorance of and insensitivity to what it has meant for so many people to make BU campus health and safety their first priority this year.

    The administration and students have done well to protect our campus this semester, and I am aware that this policy is a continuance of those good efforts. But, I suppose the only point I want to make in this comment is that it would be nice if administrators attended to the way in which the campus community they talk so much about is not just a place in Boston, but a really transient community of people… people who do not live here all the time, perhaps have not made friends with whom to celebrate here, and perhaps cannot take synchronous classes remotely due to time changes in their hometowns, and are now working through yet another very expensive decision between meeting their personal need/desire to return to a familiar environment and continue taking classes, or stick it out on campus for until exams end in December.

    Students and faculty have been told that every administrative protocol has been designed with the well-being of students and faculty in mind; but how can that be true when it is students, staff, and faculty who are routinely asked to make (and finance) the decisions that require them to bracket their own well-being in order to make the protocols work?

    Let’s be clear: This has been the way of the university’s LfA modality since the beginning, and it really is nothing short of the illusion of choice evaporating in the face of reality. This Thanksgiving protocol is the best, and perhaps the only one the university can offer this semester, but it would be nice if we lost the empty rhetoric of choice, comfort, and wellness that comes along with it. Campus has been and will continue to be well served and protected this semester, but it has been the community of students, staff, and faculty that have made it that way. BU admins care very deeply about BU, but not the community the institution serves and who have kept it safe.

  2. Just to clarify, none of this is an official statement from the school correct? Because I talked with housing and healthway staff and recently and they had uh… conflicting points with this article. Additionally, this article only really addresses students going home to high-risk states, nothing about the low-risk states. What is the course of action for those? Are they fine to go to since students wouldn’t need to do the 3 negatives as well? And again my understanding is as much as the school is suggesting courses of action they have yet to explicitly state you cannot come back so my understanding is we can still come back regardless.

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