Campus, Coronavirus, News

University announces remote classes to extend until end of semester

Boston University courses are being conducted virtually through the video conference program Zoom for the remainder of the Spring semester. ILLUSTRATION BY AUSMA PALMER/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

President Robert Brown announced that classes and examinations would be held remotely for the remainder of the semester and asked students to vacate their on-campus residences by Sunday, March 22 in an email to the Boston University community Tuesday.

This announcement comes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led BU to move to remote teaching as of Monday. Originally the university hoped to have students returning to campus April 13.

In the email, Brown wrote that he understands this decision will be hard for students, especially those graduating this semester, to grasp.

“I recognize that this is a painful decision for all our students, who thrive on the interactions with others as part of their experience as members of the Boston University community,” Brown wrote. “I know this is especially difficult for our seniors and other candidates for graduation who undoubtedly have questions about how we will celebrate their achievements.”

The email requested that students currently on-campus begin the move-out process immediately, and also stated that “room-and-board refunds will be prorated for the remainder of the semester.” Students who cannot return for their belongings or who cannot leave were instructed to speak with Residence Life and Housing.

Along with this decision comes the closure of several on-campus spaces, such as the Fitness and Recreation Center, all branches of the university library system, the Alan & Sherry Leventhal Admissions Visitor Center and the Yawkey Center for Student Services.

Additionally, all varsity athletic seasons have been canceled and certain on-campus services, such as the Howard Thurman Center and Student Health Services will have adjusted hours.

Brown wrote that staff presence will be limited on-campus and that remote working is preferred, though certain personnel will still be present to assist students who cannot depart.

“Our intent is to have as small a staff presence on our campus as is feasible for us to meet our obligations to support online education, research that must continue, and students who are not able to go home and have permission to remain on campus,” Brown wrote. “We ask all supervisors to work with their staff to make it possible for them to work from home while fulfilling their responsibilities.”

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