Same Campus, New Campus Life

The following note was sent to Dean Elmore to all residential students on Monday, June 22, 2020.

We invite you to read our guide for first-year and continuing students, Same Campus, New Campus Life. This year’s campus life comes with new responsibilities and commitments concerning everything from scheduled tests for COVID-19 to regular bathroom cleaning. “Judgment” is the watchword this fall, and compliance is the key to a safe and fulfilling residential experience. We urge everyone to use their judgment from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep.

Students will see a campus where much is new and different, from student residences to dining halls to FitRec, to the walk down Comm Ave. Directional signage, for example, will show pedestrians which way to go, and for those in a stairwell, which way is up. Literally. Elevators will have scaled-down capacity, and if you live on the first four floors of a building and are able, you will be asked to use stairways rather than elevators.

“COMMUNITY . . . IS A THING WE DO TOGETHER. AND SOMETIMES THAT THING IS REALLY HARD WORK.”
— Kai Wright, “ ‘Community’ is a Verb. And It’s Hard,” on The United States of Anxiety, WNYC Studios. June 12, 2020.

This campus life guide for undergraduate students introduces those changes and many others that have been put in place so far. More changes are no doubt coming, as our Student Residential Life Working Group develops further guidelines to promote the safety, health, and well-being of the entire BU community. We are working continuously toward solutions, and will continue to provide our BU community with information. Please watch the Back2BU website to learn more about what campus life will be like in the fall of 2020.

You will see from this guide that the University is changing basic physical structures, procedures, daily operations, and policies needed for you to learn and live in this community. It will be up to all of us as a community of students, faculty, and staff to respect these changes on campus—wearing face coverings in public, maintaining physical distancing, reporting symptoms—and to live our lives in a similar manner during informal times when we are on our own (and no one is nudging you). This is our collective responsibility for the health of the community. I hope we can agree to a level of mutual accountability with each other as a way to interrupt the spread of the virus, protect this community, and maintain a healthy environment for us all. It will only work if we make it happen.