Boston University’s Spring Recess is canceled and Spring semester will start later this year than previous years, the University announced in an email to the BU community Tuesday morning.
The University will also continue its Learn from Anywhere model for undergraduate students in the Spring — and this is not subject to change, BU spokesperson Colin Riley said. If necessary, graduate and professional programs will reach out to students for whom the hybrid model is not available in Spring.
The email outlined changes and adjustments to the Spring academic calendar that were “designed to reduce [the] community’s risk of exposure to COVID-19 by limiting the amount of travel occurring within the semester.”
The Spring semester, which was initially set to begin Jan. 19, is now starting Jan. 25. Riley said the delay was made so that the University can provide an extended move-in period.
“From the Fall, we saw how well it worked,” Riley said. “It was an extensive process to extend and schedule individual move-in in the best way possible, safest way possible.”
Riley said the Spring Recess cancellation partially stems from uncertainty due to COVID-19 and a desire to keep “the end of the semester” programming — such as commencement and finals — “intact.”
Commencement for the Class of 2020 was originally scheduled for this Fall, but ultimately was “unworkable.” Riley said the University acknowledges this and has plans to celebrate with the recent alumni to formulate a plan.
Riley said he recognizes that Spring Recess is a time for students and staff to take a necessary break. However, he said safety takes priority.
“Young people are very resilient,” Riley said. “I know they’ll be able to forge their way through it.”
Riley added in a later email that the University is attuned to student and faculty well-being, and that many faculty members design their courses with some flexibility.
“We hope the extended winter break will allow students and faculty to come back refreshed for the start of the spring semester,” Riley wrote, “and that more students are able to come back to campus.”
Students who are still planning to travel during the Spring semester given the flexibility of the LfA model will be expected to follow state guidelines and quarantine if necessary, Riley said.
The remainder of the Spring academic calendar will be the same. Any changes to move-in and move-out dates or dining hall schedules will be communicated to undergraduate students living on campus in early November by BU Housing and Residence Life.
Riley said BU is waiting to see how this semester plays out before deciding on several other factors, such as workplace adjustment request processes and study abroad programs.
In an email interview last week, Executive Director of Study Abroad Gareth McFeely also wrote the feasibility of Study Abroad opportunities will be determined on a case-by-case basis for each country.